THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
July 26, 2000
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Employing People with Significant Disabilities to Fill Federal Agency Jobs that can be Performed at Alternate Work Sites, Including the Home
Cutting-edge telecommunications technology has recently made it possible for customer service "call/contact" centers to transmit voice and data to employees who are located at work sites other than the call/contact centers, employers' headquarters, or other centralized locations. Individuals employed as customer service representatives can work from their homes or any other accessible off-site location just as if they were working in the call/contact centers themselves. Technology also enables other types of work activities, such as the processing of insurance claims and financial transactions, to be carried out from such alternate work stations.
The unemployment rate of individuals with significant disabilities is among the highest of disadvantaged groups in the Nation. These individuals are an important untapped resource of talent and skills, and a key element in our Nation's ability to sustain our historic economic growth. The increasing use of off-site work stations to carry out significant and competitive work activities provides a critical new source of employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.
It is in the interest of the Federal Government to utilize the skills of qualified people with significant disabilities by recruiting them for appropriate off-site, home-based employment opportunities with Federal agencies, including employment as home-based customer service representatives linked to Federal customer service call/contact centers.
To harness the power of new technologies to promote Federal sector employment of qualified people with significant disabilities, as defined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.), as amended, and to improve Federal customer service representation, I direct executive departments and agencies as follows:
(a) Each head of an executive department or agency operating customer service call/contact centers shall identify positions that can be relocated to home-based or other off-site facilities, and that can be filled by qualified individuals, including those with significant disabilities. (b) Each head of an executive department or agency shall identify the appropriateness of using home-based and other off-site positions to carry out other specific work activities, such as the processing of insurance claims and financial transactions, that could be accomplished by qualified individuals, including those with significant disabilities. (c) If the head of a department or agency determines it is feasible and appropriate to use home-based and other off-site locations pursuant to its actions under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this memorandum, such head shall develop a Plan of Action that encourages the recruitment and employment of qualified individuals with significant disabilities. (d) The Plan of Action developed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this memorandum shall be submitted to the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities (Task Force) (established by Executive Order 13078 of March 13, 1998) within 120 days from the date of this memorandum. (e) The Task Force shall review and approve agency Plans of Action and shall be responsible for developing guidance for the implementation of the plans and the provisions of this memorandum. (f) In implementing this memorandum, agencies must honor their obligations to notify their collective bargaining representatives and bargain over such procedures to the extent required by law. (g) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with merit system principles under law. (h) This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its officers, its employees, or any other person.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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