October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) was established by the United States Congress in 1945. It celebrates individuals with disabilities and their contributions to the American workforce. The theme for 2017 is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”
We are dedicating this blog post to our clients who have overcome disability and returned to gainful employment. Discrimination in the workplace and much higher unemployment rates are just some of their challenges.
Michigan has a fund that was created to promote employment of disabled individuals. Employers need only pay 52 weeks of workers’ compensation if an employee is certified as vocationally handicapped before a work accident occurs. Benefits are normally paid for life.
Vocationally handicapped means a person has a medically certifiable impairment of the back or heart, or who is subject to epilepsy, or who has diabetes, and whose impairment is a substantial obstacle to employment, considering such factors as the person’s age, education, training, experience, and employment rejection.
Unfortunately, changes in the mid-1990s have made this process more difficult. An employer must now certify that it refused to hire the worker because of his or her disability. This requirement raises all kinds of legal and ethical concerns.
We need to make hiring of disabled individuals a priority. Fixing the vocationally handicapped provision is critical.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.
U.S. DOL: National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by groundswell.