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One-Stop System: Legal Guidelines & Requirements for Serving People with Disabilities

Services and activities provided by the One-Stop system must comply with a number of regulations concerning provision of services for people with disabilities.

The purpose of this piece is to specifically focus on the legal requirements of the One-Stop system and One-Stop Centers concerning provision of services to people with disabilities, with a general review of the legal requirements. Elsewhere in this section is a Policy Brief, Provisions in the Workforce Investment Act Relating to Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability and the Development by Governor of a Written Methods of Administration, which provides detailed excerpts and interpretation of these regulations.

The Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity regulations prohibit One-Stop Systems from discriminating against people with disabilities in the process of hiring One-Stop staff. However, the information contained in this piece focuses only on nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in delivery of services.

Please note: The information in this section is based on interpretation of various federal regulations and requirements and has undergone a through review process. However, it should in no way be interpreted as an official policy document or legal determination. One-Stop systems are advised to discuss specific legal issues with competent counsel.

IMPACT OF STATE AND LOCAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING NONDISCRIMINATION

This piece contains information only on federal laws and regulations. Federal requirements are the baseline standards for nondiscrimination and equal opportunity. State and local laws and regulations may have additional requirements that the One-Stop system must comply with.

What do the regulations say?

How do the regulations actually impact One-Stop services?

Can a One-Stop Center ask whether an individual has a disability?

Yes. In fact, inquiries about disability status are required. The reason is that the USDOL Equal Opportunity regulations (29 CFR Part 37.37(b)(2) require that programs or activities funded by DOL (such as One-Stops) collect a variety of demographic information about the individuals being served. This demographic information includes disability status. (Source: DOLETA TEGL No. 9-02, October 4, 2002). This data is considered to be confidential, but may be shared among One-Stop partners (in accordance with the partners regulations) to ensure effective service delivery. While inquiries about disability status are required, an individual may decline to respond to such questions. If an individual declines to indicate his/her disability status, the One-Stop must still provide services to the individual, and disability status cannot be used as a basis for excluding an individual from receiving services. This requirement is different from the employment provisions of the ADA under Title I, which prohibit employers from asking about the presence of a disability, prior to an offer of employment.

In addition to the requirement to collect demographic information, other reasons for inquiring about disability may include:

For more information on this issue, see the piece "Asking About Disability and Respecting Confidentiality".

What disability statistics are One-Stops required to collect?

Each One-Stop must record the disability status (when known) of every applicant, registrant, terminee, applicant for employment, and One-Stop employee. This information must be stored in a manner that ensures confidentiality of information about an individuals disability status. Local One-Stop systems and One-Stop Centers must also maintain logs of complaints alleging discrimination.

Who enforces the equal opportunity regulations?

The Civil Rights Center (CRC) of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for administering and enforcing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions in WIA and the implementing regulations and developing and issuing policies, standards, guidance, and procedures for effecting compliance.

Who may file complaints of discrimination and how are they filed?

Any person who believes that either he or she, or any specific class of individuals, has been or is being subjected to discrimination may file a written complaint, either personally or through a representative. The complaint may be filed with either the One-Stops Equal Opportunity Officer or the Director of the USDOL Civil Rights Center. The deadline for filing complaints is 180 days from the time the alleged discriminatory act happened.

What are the required elements of a One-Stop Systems complaint resolution procedures?

At a minimum, complaint resolution procedures must:

Requirements for Outreach and Marketing Targeted to People with Disabilities

As part of its efforts to provide universal access, One-Stops must do outreach and marketing to both the general public and specific populations, including people with disabilities. Examples of outreach noted in the regulations include:

What are a One-Stops obligations to disseminate its equal opportunity policy?

The One-Stop Center must provide notice that it does not discriminate on any prohibited grounds to:

This notice must be available in accessible formats, and the One-Stop system must ensure that communication of this policy to people with disabilities is as effective as communication with other people.


The equal opportunity policy notice must contain the following specific wording:

Equal Opportunity Is the Law

It is against the law for this recipient of Federal financial assistance to discriminate on the following basis:

The recipient must not discriminate in any of the following areas:

What to Do If You Believe You Have Experienced Discrimination

If you think that you have been subjected to discrimination under a WIA Title I-financially assisted program or activity, you may file a complaint within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation with either:

If you file your complaint with the recipient, you must wait either until the recipient issues a written Notice of Final Action, or until 90 days have passed (whichever is sooner), before filing with the Civil Rights Center (see address above).

If the recipient does not give you a written Notice of Final Action within 90 days of the day on which you filed your complaint, you do not have to wait for the recipient to issue that Notice before filing a complaint with CRC. However, you must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the 90-day deadline (in other words, within 120 days after the day on which you filed your complaint with the recipient).

If the recipient does give you a written Notice of Final Action on your complaint, but you are dissatisfied with the decision or resolution, you may file a complaint with CRC. You must file your CRC complaint within 30 days of the date on which you received the Notice of Final Action.

This notice must also include the Equal Opportunity Officers name and contact information.


Where must this notice be published?

At a minimum this notice must be:

What information concerning equal opportunity must outreach materials include?

The One-Stop Center must indicate that it is an equal opportunity employer/program and that auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities in recruitment brochures and other materials that are ordinarily distributed or communicated in written or oral form. These materials must also indicate the telephone number of the centers TDD/TTY or relay service.

Resources:

U.S. Dept. of Labor Civil Rights Center Contact Information:
The Director
Civil Rights Center (CRC)
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Rm N-4123
Washington, D.C. 20210
Phone: (202) 219-8927
e-mail: CRC-WIA@dol.gov
You can also contact the Civil Rights Officer at your regional USDOL office (locations are listed in government pages of the phone book, and are also available at: www.dol.gov/dol/opa/public/aboutdol/offices.htm)

U.S. Department of Justice ADA Hotline
Voice: (800) 514-0301
TTY: (800) 514-0383
Web site: www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm
Call to obtain answers to both general and technical questions.

National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
900 Second Street, NE, Suite 211
Washington, D.C. 20002
Voice: (202) 408-9514, Fax: (202) 408-9520
Web site: www.protectionandadvocacy.com
This is the national association for the Protection and Advocacy (P & A) Systems, which are federally mandated to protect the rights of persons with disabilities through legally-based advocacy. Every state and territory has a P & A. To find the P & A in your local area, contact NAPAS or consult the listing on their web site. P & As can help answer questions concerning the ADA and other legal issues for people with disabilities.

Additional ADA resources are listed in the resource section of this manual

Full text of the WIA Regulations on Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity: Implementation of the Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998; Final Rule; Part 37 of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations [29 CFR Part 37]; Federal Register, November 12, 1999. Available online at: www.dol.gov/_sec/regs/fedreg/final/99028202.htm

Written by:

David Hoff

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