Future Of Disability Rights Enforcement Unclear - Disability Scoop
President Barack Obama nominated Perez Monday to be the next secretary of labor. If confirmed, the move would leave Perez’s current job as assistant attorney general of the civil rights division at the U.S. Department of Justice wide open.
Since he was confirmed to the post in 2009, Perez has taken on disability rights head first. Under his leadership, the Justice Department has participated in legal actions in more than two-dozen states to uphold the rights of those with disabilities to live in the community whenever possible, in addition to bringing first-ever hate crimes charges on the basis of disability.
If confirmed, disability advocates say they are optimistic that Perez will be a strong voice for those with disabilities at the Labor Department, perhaps addressing issues like subminimum wage and the use of sheltered workshops.
Who might take Perez’s place at the Department of Justice is unclear, though both Decker and Perriello said they believe the Obama administration’s commitment to disability rights enforcement comes from the top and will outlive any one appointee.