Department of Labor Updates
Department of Labor Updates
Department of Labor Reaches Agreement with KY Unemployment Insurance Program to Improve Access for Limited English Proficient Individuals:
On September 27, the Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center (DOL CRC) entered into an agreement with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training (KOET) to address deficiencies in providing meaningful access to its unemployment insurance (UI) program for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. DOL CRC conducted a compliance review of KOET pursuant to Title VI and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and regulations implementing these statutes. As a result of CRC’s investigation of KOET’s UI division, KOET voluntarily and affirmatively agreed to the following:
- Assess the language needs of the LEP populations they serve by identifying the highest-demand languages and specific needs of these populations at both the state and local level;
- Develop and implement a language access plan for providing meaningful access to LEP individuals;
- Correct deficiencies in translations of written materials, including web pages and online filing system;
- Provide training to all staff on language access obligations and how to provide meaningful access to LEP individuals through language assistance services; and
- Publicize the availability of language assistance.
Further information on the agreement is available at go.usa.gov/xkGT8.
Department of Labor Reaches Agreement with NC Department of Commerce to Improve Access for Limited English Proficient Individuals in Workforce Programs:
On September 22, DOL CRC entered into an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Commerce (NCDOC) to address deficiencies in providing meaningful access in the provision of unemployment insurance and employment services programs to LEP individuals. DOL CRC conducted a compliance review of NCDOC’s Divisions of Employment Security and Workforce Solutions pursuant to Title VI and Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and regulations implementing these statutes. As a result, NCDOC voluntarily and affirmatively agreed to the following:
- Assess the language needs of the LEP populations they serve by identifying the highest-demand languages, adequately tracking and reporting future encounters with these individuals and addressing specific translation needs of these populations at both the state and local level;
- Develop and implement language access plans for providing meaningful access to LEP individuals;
- Correct deficiencies in translations of written materials, including web pages and online filing systems;
- Identify and correct deficiencies with the provision of interpretation services to LEP individuals;
- Provide training to all staff on language access obligations and providing meaningful access to LEP individuals through language assistance services;
- Publicize the availability of language assistance and the right of potentially aggrieved LEP individuals to file claims of delay/denial
Further information on the agreement is available at go.usa.gov/xKz4h.
Department of Labor and DOJ Reach Agreement with Washington State to Improve Workers’ Comp Access for LEP Workers:
On October 1, the Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division reached an agreement with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to resolve civil rights complaints from LEP workers who alleged that they were subjected to national origin discrimination in the state’s workers’ compensation program. L&I signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) (go.usa.gov/cnHJV) and developed a new Language Access Policy (go.usa.gov/cnHJj) that will implement significant improvements in the language assistance services L&I provides its LEP customers. Under the terms of the MOA, L&I commits to developing a Language Access Plan that sets out the management actions needed to implement their Language Access Policy and ensure compliance with federal civil rights laws. Other L&I commitments include providing effective language assistance services to its LEP customers at no cost and translating documents and electronic materials that are vital for LEP individuals to access L&I services and activities. L&I will also add advisory members to its Language Access Steering Committee to represent the interests of LEP workers and the Washington employer community.
For more information, a press release is available in English and Spanish, and a fact sheet is available in Spanish, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, Khmer, and Laotian.
The Department of Labor-Civil Rights Center (CRC) has hosted and participated in several events with stakeholders to raise awareness of its work enforcing Title VI, and specifically its language access efforts. In October 2014, CRC hosted a conference call with representatives of the National Language Access Advocates Network, during which CRC provided information about the its enforcement, policy and compliance work relating to Title VI language access. Also in October, CRC staff presented on language access and Title VI at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies Equal Opportunity conference. In November 2014, CRC staff participated in a panel discussion on civil rights in federal programs at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association Annual Conference. Most recently, CRC hosted a webinar related to Title VI enforcement by the CRC, including a segment on the use of machine translation to meet Title VI language access requirements for its stakeholders.
The DOL-CRC website, go.usa.gov/tGP4, includes a section on filling complaints in multiple languages.