WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it has entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of disability discrimination by an American Job Center in Burnsville, Minnesota. The U.S. Labor Department's Civil Rights Center investigated a complaint claiming that the Dakota County Burnsville WorkForce Center required a customer who was perceived to have a disability to attend an orientation for a vocational rehabilitation program before it would permit her to receive services that were not limited to individuals with disabilities.
While not acknowledging that it violated the law, the WorkForce Center has agreed that:
- It will not require customers who have disabilities, or whom it believes to have disabilities, to be assessed for or participate in disability-specific services before, or as a condition of, receiving any services that are not disability-specific;
- It will not automatically refer all customers with disabilities, or any specific types of disabilities, to disability-specific services. Rather, it will conduct individualized assessments to determine whether a particular customer may be qualified for referral to such services;
- Before asking customers to provide medical or disability-related information, it will inform those customers about their rights with regard to that information; and
- It will develop new procedures that incorporate and train its staff and file reports with CRC regarding the Center's obligations under the law and the agreement.
"People with disabilities have the legal right to decide whether they wish to receive disability-specific services — they cannot be forced to do so in order to receive other types of services," said CRC Director Naomi M. Barry-Pérez. "We appreciate the Center's willingness to resolve this matter without the issuance of a formal determination. CRC will continue to educate its regulated community about the rights of people with disabilities in employment-related services and to investigate and resolve complaints alleging violations of those rights."
CRC enforces nondiscrimination laws that apply to recipients of financial assistance from the U.S. Labor Department and, in some circumstances, from other federal departments and agencies. It also enforces Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act as that law applies to state and local governments and other public entities that operate programs and activities related to labor and the workforce. For more information about CRC, call 202-693-6500 (voice) or 800-877-8339 (relay) or visit CRC's website. Additional information about disability-related issues is available at http://www.disability.gov.