§ 60-741.44Required contents of affirmative action programs.
Acceptable affirmative action programs shall contain, but not necessarily be limited to, the following ingredients:
(a)Policy statement. The contractor shall include an equal opportunity policy statement in its affirmative action program, and shall post the policy statement on company bulletin boards. The contractor must ensure that applicants and employees with disabilities are informed of the contents of the policy statement (for example, the contractor may have the statement read to a visually disabled individual, or may lower the posted notice so that it may be read by a person in a wheelchair). The policy statement should indicate the chief executive officer's attitude on the subject matter, provide for an audit and reporting system (see paragraph (h) of this section) and assign overall responsibility for the implementation of affirmative action activities required under this part (see paragraph (i) of this section). Additionally, the policy should state, among other things, that the contractor will: recruit, hire, train and promote persons in all job titles, and ensure that all other personnel actions are administered, without regard to disability; and ensure that all employment decisions are based only on valid job requirements. The policy shall state that employees and applicants shall not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have engaged in or may engage in any of the following activities:
(1) Filing a complaint;
(2) Assisting or participating in an investigation, compliance evaluation, hearing, or any other activity related to the administration of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503) or any other Federal, State or local law requiring equal opportunity for disabled persons;
(3) Opposing any act or practice made unlawful by section 503 or its implementing regulations in this part or any other Federal, State or local law requiring equal opportunity for disabled persons; or
(4) Exercising any other right protected by section 503 or its implementing regulations in this part.
(b)Review of personnel processes. The contractor shall ensure that its personnel processes provide for careful, thorough, and systematic consideration of the job qualifications of applicants and employees with known disabilities for job vacancies filled either by hiring or promotion, and for all training opportunities offered or available. The contractor shall ensure that its personnel processes do not stereotype disabled persons in a manner which limits their access to all jobs for which they are qualified. The contractor shall periodically review such processes and make any necessary modifications to ensure that these obligations are carried out. A description of the review and any necessary modifications to personnel processes or development of new processes shall be included in any affirmative action programs required under this part. The contractor must design procedures that facilitate a review of the implementation of this requirement by the contractor and the Government. (Appendix C of this part is an example of an appropriate set of procedures. The procedures in Appendix C of this part are not required and contractors may develop other procedures appropriate to their circumstances.)
(c)Physical and mental qualifications.
(1) The contractor shall provide in its affirmative action program, and shall adhere to, a schedule for the periodic review of all physical and mental job qualification standards to ensure that, to the extent qualification standards tend to screen out qualified individuals with disabilities, they are job-related for the position in question and are consistent with business necessity.
(2) Whenever the contractor applies physical or mental qualification standards in the selection of applicants or employees for employment or other change in employment status such as promotion, demotion or training, to the extent that qualification standards tend to screen out qualified individuals with disabilities, the standards shall be related to the specific job or jobs for which the individual is being considered and consistent with business necessity. The contractor shall have the burden to demonstrate that it has complied with the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(3) The contractor may use as a defense to an allegation of a violation of paragraph (c)(2) of this section that an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual or others in the workplace. (See § 60-741.2(y) defining direct threat.)
(d)Reasonable accommodation to physical and mental limitations. The contractor shall make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its business. If an employee with a known disability is having significant difficulty performing his or her job and it is reasonable to conclude that the performance problem may be related to the known disability, the contractor shall confidentially notify the employee of the performance problem and inquire whether the problem is related to the employee's disability; if the employee responds affirmatively, the contractor shall confidentially inquire whether the employee is in need of a reasonable accommodation.
(e)Harassment. The contractor must develop and implement procedures to ensure that its employees with disabilities are not harassed because of disability.
(f)External dissemination of policy, outreach and positive recruitment. The contractor shall undertake appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities such as those listed in paragraphs (f)(1) through (7) of this section that are reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified individuals with disabilities. It is not contemplated that the contractor will necessarily undertake all the activities listed in paragraphs (f)(1) through (7) of this section or that its activities will be limited to those listed. The scope of the contractor's efforts shall depend upon all the circumstances, including the contractor's size and resources and the extent to which existing employment practices are adequate.
(1) The contractor should enlist the assistance and support of recruiting sources (including State employment security agencies, State vocational rehabilitation agencies or facilities, sheltered workshops, college placement officers, State education agencies, labor organizations and organizations of or for individuals with disabilities) for the contractor's commitment to provide meaningful employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities. Formal briefing sessions should be held, preferably on company premises, with representatives from recruiting sources. Plant tours, clear and concise explanations of current and future job openings, position descriptions, worker specifications, explanations of the company's selection process, and recruiting literature should be an integral part of the briefing. Formal arrangements should be made for referral of applicants, follow up with sources, and feedback on disposition of applicants.
(2) The contractor's recruitment efforts at all schools should incorporate special efforts to reach students with disabilities. The contractor should engage in recruitment activities at educational institutions which participate in training of individuals with disabilities, such as schools for the blind, deaf, or learning disabled. An effort should be made to participate in work-study programs with rehabilitation facilities and schools which specialize in training or educating individuals with disabilities.
(3) The contractor should establish meaningful contacts with appropriate social service agencies, organizations of and for individuals with disabilities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies or facilities, for such purposes as advice, technical assistance and referral of potential employees. Technical assistance from the resources described in this paragraph may consist of advice on proper placement, recruitment, training and accommodations contractors may undertake, but no such resource providing technical assistance shall have authority to approve or disapprove the acceptability of affirmative action programs.
(4) The contractor should include individuals with disabilities when employees are pictured in consumer, promotional or help wanted advertising. Individuals with disabilities should be made available for participation in career days, youth motivation programs, and related activities in their communities.
(5) The contractor should send written notification of company policy to all subcontractors, vendors and suppliers, requesting appropriate action on their part.
(6) The contractor should take positive steps to attract qualified individuals with disabilities not currently in the work force who have requisite skills and can be recruited through affirmative action measures. These persons may be located through the local chapters of organizations of and for individuals with disabilities.
(7) The contractor, in making hiring decisions, should consider applicants with known disabilities for all available positions for which they may be qualified when the position(s) applied for is unavailable.
(g)Internal dissemination of policy.
(1) A strong outreach program will be ineffective without adequate internal support from supervisory and management personnel and other employees, who may have had limited contact with individuals with disabilities in the past. In order to assure greater employee cooperation and participation in the contractor's efforts, the contractor shall develop internal procedures such as those listed in paragraph (g)(2) of this section for communication of its obligation to engage in affirmative action efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities. It is not contemplated that the contractor will necessarily undertake all the activities listed in paragraph (g)(2) of this section or that its activities will be limited to those listed. These procedures shall be designed to foster understanding, acceptance and support among the contractor's executive, management, supervisory and other employees and to encourage such persons to take the necessary actions to aid the contractor in meeting this obligation. The scope of the contractor's efforts shall depend upon all the circumstances, including the contractor's size and resources and the extent to which existing practices are adequate.
(2) The contractor should implement and disseminate this policy internally as follows:
(i) Include it in the contractor's policy manual.
(ii) Periodically inform all employees and prospective employees of its commitment to engage in affirmative action to increase employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities. The contractor should schedule special meetings with all employees to discuss policy and explain individual employee responsibilities.
(iii) Publicize it in the company newspaper, magazine, annual report and other media.
(iv) Conduct special meetings with executive, management, and supervisory personnel to explain the intent of the policy and individual responsibility for effective implementation, making clear the chief executive officer's attitude.
(v) Discuss the policy thoroughly in both employee orientation and management training programs.
(vi) Meet with union officials and/or employee representatives to inform them of the contractor's policy, and request their cooperation.
(vii) Include articles on accomplishments of disabled workers in company publications.
(viii) When employees are featured in employee handbooks or similar publications for employees, include individuals with disabilities.
(h)Audit and reporting system.
(1) The contractor shall design and implement an audit and reporting system that will:
(i) Measure the effectiveness of the contractor's affirmative action program.
(ii) Indicate any need for remedial action.
(iii) Determine the degree to which the contractor's objectives have been attained.
(iv) Determine whether individuals with known disabilities have had the opportunity to participate in all company sponsored educational, training, recreational and social activities.
(v) Measure the contractor's compliance with the affirmative action program's specific obligations.
(2) Where the affirmative action program is found to be deficient, the contractor shall undertake necessary action to bring the program into compliance.
(i)Responsibility for implementation. An official of the contractor shall be assigned responsibility for implementation of the contractor's affirmative action activities under this part. His or her identity should appear on all internal and external communications regarding the company's affirmative action program. This official shall be given necessary top management support and staff to manage the implementation of this program.
(j)Training. All personnel involved in the recruitment, screening, selection, promotion, disciplinary, and related processes shall be trained to ensure that the commitments in the contractor's affirmative action program are implemented.