Once in awhile, I go to an event aimed at the people who sell and underwrite group or individual disability insurance policies and see an attendee in a wheelchair or with a cane.
That doesn’t happen very often, and maybe that’s a shame.
Disability insurers have the most to gain, other than people with disabilities and their loved ones, when people with disabilities who want to work return to work (RTW), and my own fantasy RTW contingency plan is to call up my disability insurer, if all else fails, and offer to to work for the disability insurer by writing, or weeding through e-mail, or something along those lines.
If someone with a disability happens to be good at sales (which, sadly, I’m not), it seems as if that individual would have a leg up on most competitors. Who better to sell disability insurance than someone who has experienced a disabling condition and, better yet, used the insurance to return to work, not just sit around learning more about the goings on of people on the Jersey Shore.
Now the federal government is going to try to act on that idea — that the best way to help people with disabilities return to work would be to provide jobs — by setting a hiring goal.
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to have at least 7% of their workers be people with disabilities.
The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will publish the proposed rule Friday in the Federal Register.
Affirmative action requirements in Section 503 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 already require federal contractors and subcontractors to ensure equal employment opportunities for qualified workers with disabilities, officials say.
The proposed regulations would set more detailed requirements in areas such as recruitment, training and recordkeeping.
The policies would be similar to the policies that now apply to workplace programs for women and minorities, officials say.
The proposal seems as if it could easily lead to a lot of extra paperwork without necessarily affecting who federal contractors actually hire.
The city were I live, Jersey City, often requires contractors to hire local residents for construction jobs, but it’s famous that most of the jobs seem to go to someone’s uncle’s cousin who lives far away and has proven skill with a drill, not to the unemployed guys who are living on the sidewalk next to the construction sites.