Public Comments for 01/21/2021 General Laws - Professions/Occupations and Administrative Process Subcommittee
HB1864 - Virginia Human Rights Act; expands definition of employer.
The Virginia Education Association supports HB 1864.
I’m writing in strong support of HB1864, which would include domestic workers in workplace discrimination protections. I employ house cleaners in my home. This policy is needed for the dignity of domestic workers who provide such important care to so many Virginians. I know that this bill will benefit everyone in our state. My wife and I are not supremely neat people. We have a dog who sheds his own body weight once a week. We like to spend time outside, and often the outside follows us inside. Thanks to COVID-19 our fairly small house has become the place where both of us work, sleep, eat, and try to relax; work has come home, and home has become our getaway. We've employed house cleaners for several years: the women that clean our home currently have worked for us for nearly three years; they come every two weeks and in the span of 90 minutes restore order and cleanliness, doing a job that neither of us wants to or enjoys doing. For us it's a time saver, and honestly a huge quality of life improvement, not to mention a reducer of marital friction. As we've done in the past, we hired our cleaners on the recommendation of a friend. We prefer to work with individuals rather than a company as we like interacting with the person responsible for the work and scheduling directly. Bringing someone into your home and giving them complete, unsupervised access is an exercise in trust; having a direct relationship with the people doing the work, and knowing the same person is going to be in charge and present every time helps build that trust. And trust goes both ways: I hope by now that the women (and they are almost always and only women) who come into our home feel safe and comfortable, that their work is valued, and that they are respected as people, regardless of where they are from or what they look like. We take pride in being kind and fair in how we deal and interact with the people who work for us, in and around our home. We believe that we provide a working environment that respects the people and their cultures, is safe from physical harm, and is devoid of emotional, physical, and sexual harassment. Although this is our home, we believe that the people who work for us should be afforded the same dignity, safety, and protections that we enjoy as traditional employees. Before learning about this bill and the fact that domestic workers do not enjoy the same basic rights and protections that most Americans are afforded, we hadn't considered ourselves as employers: every two weeks our cleaners arrive, and we pay them for the work performed. But that doesn't make them or the work they do any less valuable than the people that clean your offices regularly, and who have protections codified in state law. The same workplace safety standards and protections against discrimination should be considered basic rights that are afforded to all workers, regardless of their relationship with their employer or their immigration status. These basic benefits are absolutely crucial to every worker. I've greatly relied on benefits from my own employer, especially since the pandemic began. And the workers who make many parts of my life possible deserve no less. Domestic workers should not have to rely on the good intentions of their employers in order to have their work respected and their rights protected. We must make this the law in Virginia, so that all workers are guaranteed access to these basic rights and benefits.
Please support HB1889 to help stop evictions and keep people in their apartments and homes. This bill would provide a vital lifeline to help thousands of Virginians stay safe in their homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainties this is even more important to families and communities. Thank you for your time.
It is important that domestic workers in the Commonwealth be included in the Virginia Human Rights Act. There is no good reason that domestic workers should be excluded from this important act. We should not accept any discrimination based on type of work.
HB1876 - Workforce development; expands type of data sharing.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, My name is Clayton Medford and I am speaking on behalf of the Northern Virginia Chamber’s 700 members and close to 500,000 employees in favor of HB1876. Over the past several months, the Chamber has been working with our members to develop an apprenticeship network. In that effort, we’ve discovered that while many such programs exist they are not coordinating or sharing best practices among those companies. Without exception, each company we’ve approached has been supportive of the idea of creating this network to collaborate. We believe creating an apprenticeship network will lead to a stronger workforce development system in our region. By that same logic, we believe breaking down the silos among state agencies would help foster that kind of system the Commonwealth. We strongly support this administration’s efforts to create a workforce development ecosystem and would ask you report this bill. Thank you. Clayton Medford Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) strongly supports HB1876, sponsored by Delegate Subramanyam.
HB1891 - Annual safety and disaster awareness training; DHRM, et al., to develop an online training module.
HB1993 - State agencies and their appointing authorities; diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plans.
On behalf of the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers (VACBP), the largest association of private-sector providers of community-based behavioral health services to Virginia's Medicaid population, I urge you to vote yes on HB 1993. Last June, our association launched OneVACBP, an initiative focused on fighting racism and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. We applaud Del. Askew for bringing this bill forward to ensure Virginia's state agencies are incorporating a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan into their work. Please vote yes on HB1993.
HB2009 - Chamberlin Hotel at Fort Monroe; reverts certain property to the Commonwealth.
HB2140 - Alternative application for employment for persons with a disability; DHRM to create a process.
Thank you Senator Guzman, for putting up a bill to help the disabled.
the disAbility Law Center of Virginia strongly supports HB 2140. Unemployment for people with disabilities is a serious problem in Virginia -- people with disabilities face a much higher unemployment rate than the population at large. Delegate Guzman's good bill will make significant improvements in the employment landscape in Virginia. Thank you --
I wholeheartedly support this bill.
PUBLIC SERVICE ALTERNATIVE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES NARRATIVE SUPPORT HB 2140 VaAPSE supports the implementation of a Public Service Alternative Application Process for Individuals with Disabilities. The Department of Human Resource Management shall develop an alternative application process for the appointment, on a permanent, time-limited, or temporary basis, of individuals with a disability as defined in §51.5-40.1. In the Public Service Alternative Application Process for Individuals with Disabilities, state agencies would non-competitively hire such persons with disabilities who meet minimum qualifications for the position through a new application pathway. This Public Service Alternative Application Process for Individuals with Disabilities would mirror that of the federal government’s Schedule A program. The class of individuals with disabilities who are eligible for this new application process would be limited to individuals with significant disabilities. According to the Employment Opportunities Report completed by The Department of Human Resource Management in 2020, Virginia's current percentage of employees with disabilities in state government sits at .063%. This number is lagging behind of the intended goal of reaching 5% disabled employees within the Commonwealth by 2022. The passage of the Public Service Alternative Application Process for Individuals with Disabilities would provide a tool to help stimulate the growth of employment of people with disabilities within the Commonwealth. This legislation is supported by DHRM, DARS, the disability community and the Governors Office. This bill will also have no fiscal impact as both state agencies have stated they can absorb the alternative application processes costs within their current budgets. This bill will also carry an enactment clause where the Department of Human Resource Management in consultation with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall convene a group of stakeholders to establish parameters of the disability employment application process authorized under §2.2-1212. The Department of Human Resource Management shall issue emergency regulations within 280 days of enactment. VaAPSE strongly believe that individuals with disabilities can make great employees within the commonwealth and this bill can help to make that possibility a reality.