U.S. Department of Labor Launches Excellence in Disability Inclusion Awards
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced it will establish the Excellence in Disability Inclusion (EDI) Awards for federal contractors that demonstrate excellence in including people with disabilities in their workforces. The EDI awards program is sponsored jointly by the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
American employers have the responsibility to treat all qualified job applicants and employees equally and fairly, regardless of disability. Federal law requires federal contractors to take proactive steps to recruit, hire, retain, and promote qualified people with disabilities.
“Disability inclusion is a commonsense business practice for federal contractors,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen. “EDI serves as an opportunity to recognize those job creators who understand that hiring Americans with disabilities is an important part of compliance and makes business sense.”
“When it comes to advancing disability inclusion, we should look to the leaders, the companies that make inclusion a core part of their organizational culture and align it with their goals and brand,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, Jennifer Sheehy. “These companies should be recognized and emulated, and these new awards will help facilitate both.”
The EDI Awards will comprise two levels of recognition. Up to four (two large and two small) federal contractors will receive a “Gold Award” and three-year moratorium on OFCCP compliance evaluations. These awardees will also participate in a post-award “Year of Engagement” program to help educate other federal contractors on best practices for disability inclusion. Up to 20 additional federal contractors will receive recognition as “Pacesetters.”
For more information about the EDI Awards, including eligibility criteria, see dol.gov/ediaward.