The National Industry Liaison Group Board (NILG) is taking a moment to pause and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the progress made through accommodations and inclusion programs. This is a significant milestone for equal rights for individuals with disabilities in the workplace. The NILG is inspired by employers that have embraced thoughtful programs to empower individuals with disabilities and caregivers of individuals with disabilities to make meaningful contributions to drive performance and add value. Further, the NILG encourages employers to do more and be bolder in creative and thoughtful ways to unlock the potential of people with disabilities to lead productive and meaningful lives to drive performance and growth. While progress has been made, opportunities remain.
July 26, 2020 is a proud day for all Americans in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the ADA. The NILG is taking this moment to reflect on these accomplishments and renew its commitment to do more. The NILG also wants to express its gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with EEOC, DOL-OFCCP, DOL-ODEP, EARN, Disability:IN and other agencies to advance the mission to embrace the full talent offerings of individuals with disabilities in the workplace of all industries. Today is a very good day!
The NILG continues to communicate with OFCCP leadership regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Agency can continue operations but still provide reasonable extensions and adjustments to contractors because of this unprecedented emergency. From our discussions, the NILG understands that to continue operations to the extent feasible given the current emergency and to address contractor concerns, the OFCCP will institute the following protocols:
Grant an automatic 30-day extension for submission of AAPs after receipt of Scheduling Letter
Grant an automatic additional 30-day extension to contractors who submit their written AAP narrative within 60 days of receipt of scheduling letter (i.e. provide another 30 days for submission of all data reports and analyses)
Grant an automatic extension of 14 days, and more commonly of 30 days, for contractor response to information requests, with opportunity for further extensions as needed
Conduct 503 focused review onsites via video or phone conference only until contractors begin resuming normal operations
The NILG understands the OFCCP will grant further extensions to contractors whose ability to respond remains affected by the COVID-19 emergency, and such requests will be liberally granted. The OFCCP and the NILG recommend that contractors who believe the OFCCP is not taking the pandemic emergency into sufficient account, either in general or in a relation to a specific audit, contact the OFCCP Ombudsperson, Marcus Stergio, Stergio.Marcus@dol.gov or 202-693-1174.
The OFCCP and the NILG recommend that contractors concerned about receiving Scheduling Letters during the emergency consider providing contact an email address for the responsible contractor employee to the applicable Regional Director, with a copy to Deputy Director Patricia Davidson at Davidson.Patricia@dol.gov. The OFCCP assures the NILG that contractors providing this information will receive the Scheduling Letters via email in addition to the mailed copy.
The NILG would like to thank Director Leen and the OFCCP for “dropping everything” to discuss these matters and for the Agency’s openness to addressing contractors’ needs.
The NILG hopes you and your families remain safe and healthy in these difficult times.
The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recognize the value of collaboration to advance workplace success for people with disabilities. This year, in observance of two milestone anniversaries— National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrating 75 years and 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act—the NILG and ODEP renew our commitment to Increasing Access and Opportunity for everyone by promoting innovative practices that build a disability-inclusive workforce.
As an organization committed to equal employment opportunity and equitable treatment in the workplace, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the pain of social injustice towards Black Americans. As a country, we have not yet achieved justice and equal treatment for all. As we continue to grapple with the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others there is no question that we still have a lot of work to do in this country to break down barriers and heal our racial divide. No one can deny that these acts of lethal violence towards Black Americans are simply unconscionable. We all must be leaders for change to foster equity and inclusion in every aspect of the workplace and our HR practices and continue to advocate for those who have been historically excluded from workplace opportunities. We are dedicated to do more to be a part of the solution.