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S.F. No. 2004 - State Employees with Disabilities Provision Modifications
Author: Senator Torrey N. Westrom
Prepared By: Stephanie James, Senate Counsel (651/296-0103)
Date: March 12, 2019


Section 1 [On-the-Job Demonstration Process and Appointment] modifies the criteria for determining whether an applicant for state employment has “significant disabilities,” for purposes of eligibility in an on-the-job work experience.  The program, in current law, provides up to 700 hours of on-the-job work experience through which an applicant can demonstrate that the applicant has qualifications for a position. Currently, the program is available to those “whose disabilities are of such a severe nature that the applicants are unable to demonstrate their abilities in the selection process.” This section makes the program available to those who meet the definition, in a state rule, of a person “with severe disabilities.” The rule provides that a person must:

  1. be “eligible for vocational rehabilitation services as provided in [a federal rule];”
  2. have a severe physical or mental impairment that results in a serious functional limitation in terms of employment in one or two functional areas;
  3. be one whose vocational rehabilitation can be expected to require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time; and
  4. have one or more physical or mental impairments resulting from a list of specified conditions.

This section permits up to three people with significant disabilities and their job coaches to be allowed to demonstrate their job competence as a unit through the on-the job work experience. This on-the-job demonstration process must be limited to applicants for whom there is no reasonable accommodation in the selection process.

Section 2 [Agency Affirmative Action Plans] adds items that must be included in an agency’s plan for reasonable accommodations to be afforded for hiring or promotion.  The new items are:  1) a plan to ensure that collective bargaining agreements provide equal employment opportunity for job applicants with disabilities and for current employees with disabilities seeking promotion; and 2) certain metrics on the use of the state accommodation account.

This section also changes a requirement that the Council on Disability provide assistance to agencies in preparing affirmative action plans, to a permission for agencies to consult with the Council on Disability and specified others in preparing an affirmative action plan.

Section 3 [Audits; Sanctions and Incentives] eliminates caps on the percentage of appointments for state employment in which an agency fails to justify a nonaffirmative action hire. Requires, instead, that MMB criteria for an agency to justify nonaffirmative action hires include the number of applicants hired through on-the-job work experience, the number of applicants who receive authorization for a probationary period, and the number of applicants who are offered appointment. Requires MMB to publish summary data about all appointments including protected class status and job classifications.

Section 4 [Working Group on State Employment and Retention of Employees With Disabilities] establishes a working group to report strategies for attracting and retaining state employees with disabilities, by January 15, 2020.

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