New Hiring Goals Proposed for Federal Contractors to Hire Persons with Disabilities
- Published on Monday, 12 March 2012 15:52
Increasing the amount of disabled workers in the US is essential to the goal of full inclusion. Improving the quality of life for the disabled community has been the goal for the United States for more than 60 years. It was initially a way to assist wounded war veterans other disabled persons.
Hiring preferences became less important in the 90's after enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The thought was that mandating accommodations to serve persons with disabilities and making regulations to deter discrimination toward the disabled in the general private sector would make it unnecessary to have hiring preferences, which was seen as demeaning by some disabled advocates. Unfortunately, this change resulted in a plunge in the amount of disabled persons in the labor force.
Under the guidance of the Obama Administration, the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) submitted a proposal in December expanding the government's affirmative action program for federal contractors to include various new obligations regarding disabled employment including a required "hiring goal". In the new "hiring goal," disabled employees are to make up at least 7 percent of a contractor's workforce. To combat the potential problem of there not being enough the percentage job applicants who are observably disabled and qualified in all fields, a 2 percent quota is proposed for persons with severe disability, with the other 5 percent to be filled with those whose disabilities are less severe.
This idea sounds great in theory. The question is with all of the potential logistical problems that could come with this, is it really the best solution.