Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Feds Announce An Inter-Agency Enforcement Effort between the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor re Employment of Persons with Disabilities
Across the nation, people with disabilities are often excluded from the middle class and from accessing real jobs in their communities. Instead, they are often segregated in sheltered workshops where they work alongside only other people with disabilities and earn far less than minimum wage. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, is working to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which ensures that individuals with disabilities have access to the services and supports they need to have the opportunity to work in real jobs in the community, rather than just in segregated settings.
- In June 2013, DOJ entered into an Interim Settlement Agreement with the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence, resolving the kinds of violations that result in Americans with disabilities spending their days in segregated employment. DOJ worked collaboratively with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in a first-of-its-kind enforcement effort between the agencies to achieve relief for adults and youth with disabilities.
- DOL recently announced that it has secured more than $250,000 in back wages for student workers with disabilities who spent their days in a school-based sheltered workshop in Providence, where they were routinely paid less than $2 an hour, if at all, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Together, DOJ and DOL are working to ensure that, under the ADA and FLSA, Americans with disabilities receive the protections they are entitled to.