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No. Managing employees with disabilities is really no different than managing any other employee. Use the same practices that are successful in ensuring productivity and employee engagement with all your workers: explain performance, productivity and attendance standards, provide appropriate training and support, and offer timely and constructive feedback.
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Dedicated and reliable employees: People with developmental disabilities have built a reputation for themselves as hard-working and dedicated employees who take pride in their work and the organizations that employ them.
Low employee turnover: Strong employer loyalty pays off in reduced costs associated with turnover. A three-year study at Washington Mutual, Inc. found a turnover rate of 8% among people with developmental disabilities, compared with an overall rate of 45%, according to an article in Crain's Chicago Business (April 7, 2003).
Agency-provided job training: Workers are trained for your company's specific needs by one of 3 agencies that provide services in Clallam County (Port Angeles, Sequim and surrounding areas) to people with developmental disabilities. These agencies work with employers to assess their workforce needs and provide job-specific skills training to individual workers.
Ongoing agency support: The employment support agencies that match employees with your company's needs don't disappear once the worker is on the job. A job coach from the agency provides ongoing employee support and assessment to assure a good fit and mutual satisfaction between employer and employee.
Economic incentives: Hiring workers with developmental disabilities also can make your company eligible for economic incentives such as The Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The federal tax credit program encourages the employment of nine targeted groups of job seekers by reducing employers' federal income tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified new worker. Other economic incentives that your company may qualify for include the Small Business Tax Credit and the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction.
Benefits to your bottom line: Hiring workers with developmental disabilities can benefit your bottom line. Joe Warren of Canon USA says that bringing on employees with disabilities to clean, sort, and inspect accessories like straps, cords, and instruction booklets from returned Canon products saves his company $5 million per year that would otherwise go to a foreign supplier.
Community recognition: Employing workers with developmental disabilities often also brings community support. Mark Regan of Boston Market Corporation says that the dining room attendants with disabilities who are employed to help clear tables and offer drink refills have prompted many customers to vow their support of Boston Market.
No. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), almost half of the accommodations needed by employees with disabilities cost nothing, and others typically cost less than $600. By utilizing resources from JAN, employers can accommodate employees with disabilities easily and cost-effectively. To obtain technical assistance in planning and implementing an accommodation, contact JAN at 800-526-7234 V/TTY or visit www.askJAN.org.
No. The classification system of workers' compensation is based on actual losses and the type of business rather than individual employees. Experience rating utilizes each individual employer's own loss history to recognize differences between the employer and the average risk in the class.
Probably not. Group health insurance premiums are based on the risks the group presents, not on individuals. According to a 2008 Employer Perspectives study, most large and medium-sized companies report no significant increase in health insurance costs, which are based on experience ratings. Employers also report that any additional costs are often outweighed by the value that workers with disabilities bring to the workplace.
Yes. A DuPont study of 811 employees revealed that workers with disabilities rated an average of 90 percent or better in job performance. Workers with disabilities represent a diverse labor pool with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, capable of meeting required performance standards.
A 2007 DePaul University Economic Impact Study of 25 businesses from the healthcare, retail, and hospitality sectors and 314 employees concluded that workers with disabilities had fewer scheduled absences than employees without disabilities and nearly identical job performance ratings. In addition, workers with disabilities tend to remain with their employers for longer tenures, reducing turnover.