The U.S. Department of Labor has recognized Aetna Inc. and Highmark Inc. for their efforts to employ workers with disabilities.

The companies today received 2 of the department’s 9 2006 New Freedom Initiative awards.

Aetna, Hartford, has a workplace accommodation unit that helps about 300 of the company’s 30,400 employees each year, Labor Department officials say.

Highmark, Pittsburgh, reports that about 100 of its 12,000 employees say they have disabilities, officials say.