WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) now offers information online about how small businesses can take part in free workshops around the country addressing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. An overview of this new program, regional staff contacts, and a developing calendar of scheduled events are available on EEOC's web site at www.eeoc.gov.
The workshop series, which was launched last month, is part of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative to bring individuals with disabilities into gainful employment and other aspects of the nation's social and economic life. These events are customized for businesses that have between 15 and 100 employees, and even smaller companies that expect to expand, because many of these employers lack a human resources department or staff with expertise on equal employment opportunity laws.
"Our initial announcement about the New Freedom Initiative workshop series was met with resounding enthusiasm from the small business community," said EEOC Chair Cari M. Dominguez. "This special page on our web site will help guide us toward employers in geographic areas with the greatest need for information on disability employment issues."
The growing schedule of events reflects a forum today in Atchison, Kan., and upcoming workshops in Morgantown, W.Va. (May 29); Milwaukee, Wis. (June 3); Kenosha, Wis. (June 4); Lansing, Mich. (June 13); Southfield, Mich. (June 14); Phoenix, Ariz. (June 17); Lexington, Ky. (Aug. 7); Louisville, Ky. (Aug. 8); New Jersey location (Sept. 24); and Indianapolis, Ind. (Oct. 17). Workshops were hosted last month in Rapid City, S.D. and Reno, Nev. While many additional sites throughout the United States are under consideration, it may not be possible to hold events in every state. The online calendar will be updated as more workshops are scheduled.
EEOC's small business liaisons in various field offices and the agency's Office of Legal Counsel are working together to develop these workshops. For information about an event already scheduled, employers should consult the calendar on EEOC's web site for the name and phone number of the appropriate field office staff person. Employers interested in working with EEOC to arrange a workshop in a location not already listed should call (202) 663-4963 or send email to NFIworkshops@eeoc.gov.
Workshop content typically addresses such topics as permissible questions during job interviews, reasonable accommodations, recruitment resources, and tax incentives. In some cases, EEOC is partnering with the U.S. Department of Justice to offer information about Title III of the ADA, which covers public accommodations and commercial facilities. Please note that these are not job fair events offering immediate access to job candidates with disabilities.
In addition to enforcing Title I of the ADA, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities by employers with 15 or more employees in the private sector and state and local governments, the EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
This page was last modified on May 23, 2002.
Return to Home Page