Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: Summary Review of the DOL Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, from a Disability Perspective

LEAD Center
February 2016

On January 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, WIOA supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) as the Department’s primary mechanism for providing financial assistance for a comprehensive system of job training and placement services for adults and eligible youth. Section 188 of WIOA prohibits discrimination under Title I because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief.

Most of the provisions of WIOA, including Section 188, took effect on July 1, 2015. WIOA contains the identical provisions of Section 188 as appeared in WIA. To ensure no regulatory gap while this proposed rulemaking progresses toward a final rule, the Department issued an “interim” final rule implementing Section 188 of WIOA [29 CFR part 38], which applies until issuance of the final rule based on this NPRM. The final rule issued separately in July 2015 retains the provisions in 29 CFR part 37 (WIA), but substitutes all references to WIA with references to WIOA to reflect the proper statutory authority.

The purpose of this policy brief is to provide a summary of the NPRM implementing the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) from a disability perspective.

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