From The Plain Dealer
The federal government wants more people with disabilities to join the workforce — a noble goal that nevertheless has some business and labor experts worried.
Their concern is how far the Department of Labor might take a new rule that sets a goal for the federal government-contractor workforce: 7 percent of its employees should be people with disabilities.
That’s higher than the 5.7 percent of people with disabilities in the workplace when measured by a census survey. The rule, announced Aug. 27, could change the way in which employees disclose or hide their disabilities, whether a physical disease, a mental illness or a mobility issue.
The rule could extend well beyond government contractors and subcontractors, a category already covering a broad swath of the economy, or roughly one in five jobs. Contracting rules apply to a spectrum of civilian industries — defense, energy and healthcare contractors, even hotels that have contracts to put up servicemen and women. If a university has research contracts, it too can fall under federal rules. So can many of these entities’ vendors.