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Employment & People With Disabilities. What Do You Want to Get Out of This Presentation -Introduce yourself -What is your experience with employment rights.

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Presentation on theme: "Employment & People With Disabilities. What Do You Want to Get Out of This Presentation -Introduce yourself -What is your experience with employment rights."— Presentation transcript:

1 Employment & People With Disabilities

2 What Do You Want to Get Out of This Presentation -Introduce yourself -What is your experience with employment rights of people with disabilities? -Name one thing you want to take away from this training

3 After This Presentation You Will Be Able -To explain what Disability Rights California does -Understand how stereotypes, stigma and discrimination hurt people with disabilities -Know the employment rights of people with disabilities

4 The 5 Most Important Topics about Employing People with Disabilities -Definition of disability -When it is OK to ask about a disability -What constitutes discrimination -What a reasonable accommodation is -Disability discrimination complaint process

5 About Disability Rights California (DRC)

6 About DRC -California’s Protection & Advocacy System -Mission Statement: Advocate, educate, investigate and litigate to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities.

7 DRC Services General DRC services include: -Intake & Referral -Self-help materials and other publications -Training -Public policy & legislative advocacy -State hospital patients’ rights advocates

8 DRC Services -Clients’ rights advocates for clients of regional centers -Legal counsel & advice -Representation of individuals with disabilities in priority areas -Systemic litigation

9 Stigma, Stereotypes & Discrimination

10 What is “Stigma”? Stigma refers to attitudes and beliefs that lead people to reject, avoid, or fear those they perceive as being different Types of stigma: 1. Public Stigma 2. Institutional Stigma 3. Self Stigma All types of stigma are based on stereotypes about people with mental health disabilities.

11 What is “Self Stigma”? Self stigma is when a person with a mental health diagnosis accepts the attitudes of society or of the medical community. Self stigma is rarely discussed, and can lead to hopelessness and helplessness.

12 What are “Stereotypes”? Stereotypes are exaggerations or even untruths about people with mental health disabilities.

13 Examples of Stereotypes Stereotypes include misconceptions that people with mental health disabilities tend to be violent, will not get better, are unable to care for themselves or are stupid. In particular, stereotypes about violence and ability to care for oneself can affect the ability of people with mental health disabilities to obtain housing.

14 What is “Discrimination”? Discrimination occurs when people act on stigma in ways that deprive others of their rights and life opportunities. Discrimination and stigma are based on the stereotypes that drive a wedge between us and them.

15 Employing People With Disabilities

16 Recent studies show - Societal stigma and discrimination are widespread - Going public with a mental health disability is risky and is statistically linked to lower wages (72-85% lower) - Not going public is also risky as the law only applies to known disabilities

17 Recent Studies Show - Costs of accommodations for a worker with mental health disabilities are likely to be indirect costs “Keep it to Yourself? The Costly Stigma of Mental Illness,” Health Management and Policy; October 11, 2006 (Arizona State University)

18 The Laws -Federal Law -The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) -California Law -Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) -Other Laws

19 What Employers and Organizations Do the Laws Apply to? -Employment agencies and labor unions -ADA applies to employers with 15 or more employees; FEHA applies to employers with 5 or more employees -ADA includes all state and local governmental employers regardless of number of employees; FEHA employees limit applies

20 Who is Protected by the Law? -To be protected, a person must prove he or she is a qualified individual with a disability -Has a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities; has a history of a disability; is regarded or treated as though the person has a disability ns/dfeh-208dh.pdf ns/dfeh-208dh.pdf

21 Qualified Individual with a Disability -A person with a disability must meet the minimum job qualifications -Job qualifications include skill, experience, education, medical, safety, physical, and other requirements the employer sets -Able to do the job with reasonable accommodation

22 When are Questions about a Person’s Disability OK? -Never before a job offer is made -After a job offer is extended but before a person starts (ADA); only if job-related and consistent with business necessity (FEHA) -Limited inquiries when requesting a reasonable accommodation.

23 The Laws Forbids Discrimination in Any Aspect of Employment -Including hiring, firing, layoffs, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment -Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability -Harassment of people with disabilities -Retaliation

24 Reasonable Accommodation -Employers must make reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified employee or applicant -Unless the employer can show that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship

25 Definition of Reasonable Accommodation -Reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. -Reasonable accommodation includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

26 Examples of Reasonable Accommodations -Making the work site wheelchair accessible -Restructuring a job -Part-time or modified work schedules -Obtaining or modifying equipment or devices

27 More Examples -In-service training of employees -Modifying examinations, training materials, or policies -Providing qualified interpreters and readers -Reassignment to a vacant position

28 More Examples - Help in completing applications, including verbal interviews to obtain the information - Reducing work space distractions - Giving instructions in alternative formats - Breaking down tasks - Changes in supervision

29 More Examples -Flexible schedules -Longer or more frequent work breaks -More time to learn new responsibilities -Self-paced workload -Time off for counseling

30 The Process to Get an Accommodation -An employee can request one in writing or verbally -A family member, friend, health professional, or other may request one on behalf of the person with the disability

31 What Does the Employer Have to Do? -Keep the employee’s request confidential, disclosure may result in damages -Engage in an interactive process with the employee -Does not have to provide the exact accommodation, but has to have meaningful discussions about what will work and is reasonable -Provide the accommodation unless doing so would be an undue hardship

32 Can an Employer Ask for Proof of the Disability -An employer is allowed to find out if the employee has a disability that requires accommodation -When the need for accommodation is not obvious, an employer may ask an employee for reasonable documentation of the disability and functional limitations

33 Can an Employer Obtain Mental Health Records? -No, an employer cannot require an employee to give them all mental health history records -Only records that are relevant to show there is a disability and the need for an accommodation

34 Reasonable Accommodation Costs (From JAN) Costs -Overall, 20% require no money Most for people with psychiatric disabilities only involve indirect costs -Over 70% cost $ 500 or less -Median Cost: $ 250

35 Reasonable Accommodation Benefits (From JAN) Benefits -Hiring/Retaining a qualified employee - Increased Productivity (74%) - Saved insurance and training costs Benefit to the Company: $10 for each $1 spent

36 Hypothetical Jose is a file clerk in your company’s storeroom. He wants to know if he can work from 10am - 6pm instead or 9am - 5pm. −What factors will go into your decision, and what steps will you take?

37 What Happens if a Person Thinks They Have Been Discriminated Against? -ADA: 300 days to file EEOC charge; 90 days to file a court complaint after they receive a right-to-sue letter -FEHA: one year to file DFEH charge; one year to file a court complaint after they receive a right-to-sue letter

38 Resources -Job Accommodation Network -EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Psychiatric Disabilities: -Department of Fair Employment and Housing: -ADA Disability and Business Tech. Asst. Center: -Disability Rights California:

39 Disability Rights California is funded by a variety of sources, for a complete list of funders, go to Documents/ListofGrantsAndContracts.html.

40 The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Prevention and Early Intervention programs implemented by CalMHSA are funded by counties through the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act (Prop 63). Prop. 63 provides the funding and framework needed to expand mental health services to previously underserved populations and all of California’s diverse communities. CalMHSA


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