In part three of our coverage of the proposed regulatory changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, it’s time we talk about training. We all know that training is an important aspect for all businesses, and training becomes even more important when trying to establish a diverse and inclusive workforce. Recognizing that, the proposed changes would require federal contractors to create a more in depth training program focused around hiring people with disabilities.
As it currently stands, federal contractors must provide training to all personnel that are involved in the recruiting and onboarding process, to ensure that a company’s affirmative action goals are met. This leaves it open for the organization to determine what topics should be covered in training.
If the regulatory changes pass as proposed, contractors will be required to establish comprehensive training around specific topics, and provide documentation for all trainings conducted and all personnel that attended. The training would still be mandatory for all personnel that implement decisions pursuant to the company’s affirmative action program. The proposed training topics are:
- Benefits of employing individuals with disabilities
- Appropriate sensitivity toward recruits, applicants, and employees with disabilities
- Reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities
- Legal responsibilities of the employer and its agents regarding individuals with disabilities
While the training would only be mandatory for federal contractors, organizational readiness training for hiring people with disabilities is something that all companies could benefit from. Having a well trained team of professionals will make the hiring and onboarding process smoother for the company, and for the jobseeker as well.
On July 3rd the US Department of Labor (DOL) posted an updated Regulatory Agenda, which indicates that a final ruling on the proposed changes to Section 503 will be released sometime this month. Since we are already half way through the month, we are all eagerly awaiting the release! As soon as we have any information we will be sure to keep you up to date so you can begin to prepare your teams.
As we’ve mentioned before, there has been speculation that the proposed changes might be altered to prevent undue hardship on companies, so these requirements could change once the final ruling comes out. If you are interested in learning more about the proposed regulatory changes to Section 503, check out the proposed rule in its entirety.