HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Employment First is a policy that asserts that employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred option for persons with disabilities who receive assistance from publicly funded systems. The policy encourages all people, regardless of their disability, to have the opportunity to work and is part of a national effort supported by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. At least forty states have adopted Employment First legislation or made an official state policy supporting Employment First.
The legislature further finds that in 2016, several of the State's departments and agencies entered into a five-year cooperative agreement for Employment First collaboration, with the vision that Employment First partnerships would provide increased access for people with disabilities to competitive integrated employment. Moreover, the governor signed a proclamation in 2017 that recognizes the month of October as Disability Employment Awareness month and endorsed Hawaii's designation as an Employment First state. In this proclamation, the governor encouraged all citizens to fully participate in the workforce and bring their individual strengths and talents to augment Hawaii's business and industry.
It is not the intent of the legislature that this measure be construed to mean that a person with a disability be given a hiring preference due to their disability.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Establish Employment First as a policy of the State and counties to fully include persons with disabilities in the workplace and community through integrated employment as the first option for their employment; and
(2) Require the department of human services to implement the Employment First policy with respect to employment of personnel in medicaid home and community-based waiver programs and require that contracted service and care providers in medicaid home and community-based waiver programs practice Employment First principles in hiring their personnel.
SECTION 2. Chapter 78, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§78- Employment first; persons with disabilities. (a) Employment First shall be a policy of the State and its several counties. State and county agencies shall ensure that Employment First is effectively implemented in hiring and in all programs and services the agencies administer and fund, including programs and services that help persons with disabilities obtain employment.
(b) All state and county agencies shall coordinate efforts and collaborate to ensure that programs, policies, procedures, and funding support competitive employment in an integrated setting for persons with disabilities.
(c) All state and county agencies, whenever feasible, shall share data and information to track progress toward full implementation of this section.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require any employer to give preference to hiring a person with a disability.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed as eliminating any other appropriate supported employment service.
(f) As used in this section:
"Competitive employment" means work in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in an integrated setting, and for which a person with a disability is compensated at or above the minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by persons who do not have disabilities.
"Employment First" means the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workplace and community through integrated employment as the first option for employment services for adults and children of working age who have a disability. "Employment First" includes competitive employment in an integrated setting.
"Integrated setting" means an employment setting in which persons with disabilities interact with persons who do not have disabilities, other than persons who do not have disabilities who are providing services to those persons with disabilities, and to the same extent that persons who do not have disabilities interact with other persons in comparable positions."
SECTION 3. Section 346D-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§346D-4 Provision of services. (a) Services that maximize the individual's independence shall be provided in the individual's home, the home of a responsible relative or other adult, or a residential alternative setting.
(b) The program shall provide the services in the
most economic manner feasible [
which] that is compatible with
preserving quality of care through:
(1) Informal care providers, such as family members, friends, or neighbors who regularly provide specific services without remuneration and not as a part of any organized volunteer activity;
(2) Individual providers hired and directed by the waiver program individual to provide specific approved services;
(3) Contracts with agency providers, such as home care agencies and public or private health and social service organizations;
(4) Contracts with individual providers, such as counselors, nurses, therapists, and residential alternative program operators who provide services for the waiver program; and
(5) Program personnel, such as social workers and nurses who are hired by the waiver program to provide specific services.
(c) The department of human services shall:
(1) Practice Employment First principles, as described in section 78‑ , with respect to employment of waiver program personnel; and
(2) Require contracted agency providers that provide services for the waiver program to follow Employment First principles, as described in section 78‑ , with regard to employment of agency personnel."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect on December 31, 2059.
Deaf and Blind Task Force; Employment First; Persons with Disabilities; Employment
Establishes Employment First as a policy of the State and counties for persons with disabilities. Requires state and county agencies to implement Employment First in hiring and in all programs and services administered or funded by the State or counties. Applies Employment First principles to Medicaid home- and community-based waiver programs. Takes effect on 12/31/2059. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.