Dance Worker Digest | November 2023

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Dance Worker Digest | November 2023


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Dance Worker Digest
November 2023

This month's topics cover protection for those with disabilities, New York State minimum wage increase, a landmark Bill of Rights for immigrant workers, and positive changes to federal grantmaking.

NOTE: There will be no Dance Worker Digest in December 2023.
Stay tuned for more news you can use in the new year.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Proposes Rule To Strengthen Protections Against Disability Discrimination

Building of the U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOn September 7, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule “to advance equity and bolster protections for people with disabilities.” The proposed rule, “Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Health and Human Service Programs or Activities”, aims to update and strengthen the regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ensuring that discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities is prohibited in any program or activity that receives funding from HHS. The proposed changes cover critical areas like medical treatment, value assessment methods, child welfare programs, web/mobile accessibility, accessible medical equipment, integration, and consistency with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This proposal could significantly impact dance workers with disabilities by potentially improving their access to healthcare services, addressing discriminatory barriers in medical settings, ensuring equitable treatment in child welfare programs, and requiring accessible technologies and equipment. It could also advocate for fair evaluations in healthcare decisions, helping to overcome biases that may limit access to proper care based on disability.

• Review HHS Fact Sheet on the proposed rule 
• Check out HHS press release on the proposed rule
• Review the full text of the proposed rule
• Learn more about the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

New York State Minimum Wage To Increase In 2024

Photo of dollar bills and a magnifying glass. On a table rests a piece of paper that is titled 'Wages'.To help New Yorkers keep up with the rising cost of living, New York’s minimum wage will increase for three years with subsequent increases tied to inflation. On January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $16 in New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, and to $15 in all other parts of the State. In 2025 and 2026, the minimum wage will increase by an additional $0.50 each year, after which the State's minimum wage would increase at a rate determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Northeast Region—the best regional measure of inflation. The law was set in place as a part of the New York State FY2024 budget legislation signed by Governor Hochul in May.

Raising New York's minimum wage to keep pace with inflation will benefit workers across New York. For those within the dance community—such as freelance workers, educators, or those working in related service industries— a higher minimum wage could directly impact their income, allowing for greater financial stability and better living conditions, and possibly contribute to more equitable compensation structures within the dance industry.

• Review press release on historic agreement to raise NY minimum wage
• Learn more about New York State’s minimum wage
• Check out history of New York State minimum wage

New York City Council Passes Landmark Bill of Rights for Immigrant Workers

Photo of the Statue of LibertyThe New York City Council passed landmark legislation (Int-0569) establishing the city’s first workers’ bill of rights. The bill, which Brooklyn Council Member Shahana Hanif first introduced in May, would require multiple city departments as well as community and labor organizations to create a workers’ bill of rights that would detail the rights and protections workers are guaranteed under federal, state, and local laws regardless of
their immigration status.

Employers will be required to display this bill in workplaces, provide a copy to employees upon hiring, and if operating online or through a mobile app, make it accessible there, too. Additionally, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) will collaborate with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), community, and labor organizations to educate City workers about these rights, including resources for legal support, information on immigration enforcement in workplaces, and details on Temporary Protected Status eligibility after its designations or extensions.

The bill’s primary benefit and goal is to consolidate all existing legal protections for workers in one place for ease of access and understanding. This ensures that workers—especially immigrant workers often vulnerable to exploitation—have the knowledge and resources to navigate workplace protections and rights.

Now that the City Council has passed the bill, it goes before Mayor Adams to sign. Once passed, the new law will take 30 days to be implemented.

• Check out article on the bill on Documented
• Review the bill full text and record

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Propose Updates to Rules Governing Federal Grants and Other Financial Assistance

screenshot of the wage theft data mapThe Biden Administration proposed significant changes to the rules governing federal grantmaking, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance for Grants and Agreements. The revisions aim to streamline processes and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy—challenges that have historically limited organizations from seeking and maintaining federal funding.

The proposed changes seek to simplify compliance, revise notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) to be more accessible to non-experts and smaller organizations, and eliminate language barriers in notices and applications. By reducing unnecessary compliance costs and removing barriers to entry, the revisions aim to ensure that federal financial assistance serves its intended communities more equitably. These changes could potentially ease administrative burdens for dance and arts and culture organizations alike, making it easier for them to access federal funding to focus on their mission.

Members of the public are invited to respond and submit comments until the December 4, 2023 deadline, after which OMB will take several months to review public feedback and consider adjustments.

• Review the proposed revisions and submit comments
• Review National Council of Nonprofits analysis of the proposed revisions
• Review the White House brief on the proposed changes


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