The Employer's Legal Resource: DOL Workplace Flexibility Toolkit Launched
October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year's theme was "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce." In connection with this annual event, the U.S. Department of Labor launched an online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit intended to provide a variety of users, including job seekers, employees and employers, with information and resources related to workplace flexibility. Unlike most flexibility policies and practices, which focus on when and where work is done, the toolkit emphasizes flexibility around job tasks and what work is done. It addresses complex employment situations including those parents of young children, single parents, family caregivers, mature workers, at-risk youth, ex-offenders, and individuals with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities and people with HIV/AIDS.
The toolkit currently includes 170 resources, and additional resources will be added as they become available. It is searchable in a number of different ways: Type of resource case studies, factsheets, issue brief, journal articles, news articles, pending legislation, reports, slides, other websites and other toolkits. It can also be searched by user type including employee, employer, policymaker and researcher. It includes a category for most frequently asked questions sorted by user type.
Perhaps the most useful option provided by the toolkit is the ability to search by flexibility type: time, place and task. For example, if you search by task and limit the results to those intended for employers, you will find 19 resources. While most of these resources are generated by the Department of Labor or an affiliate, and therefore not exactly objective, some independent sources will be found, such as an article on the importance of surveying employees about the use of workplace flexibility options.
The toolkit is an interesting resource. Take a look at it.
By Rebecca M. Fowler, firstname.lastname@example.org