Absence of conflict of interest.
The study's objective was to examine the impact of Prudence Kay Poppink (PKP) Act on employment outcomes.
The study was a nonexperimental design using data that was reported in the Current Population Survey for individuals with disabilities The author used statistical models to estimate employment outcomes of the PKP Act by comparing Californians with disabilities to Californians without disabilities and individuals in other states without disabilities.
The study found that the PKP Act was associated with a significant increase in employment for individuals with disabilities in California.
This study receives a low evidence rating. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Prudence Kay Poppink Act; other factors are likely to have contributed.
Prudence Kay Poppink Act
Features of the Intervention
The Prudence Kay Poppink (PKP) Act became effective in California on January 1, 2001. This law expanded the eligibility criteria on those who were considered disabled and their accommodations for employment. The PKP Act expanded the definition of disability compared to the Sutton Trilogy U.S. Supreme Court cases that excluded certain individuals from getting accommodations. PKP broadened the disability criteria by including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, epilepsy, seizure disorder, diabetes, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease, and made it a punishable offense if an employer failed to provide accommodations to a job applicant. The policy serves employees in the state of California with disabilities.
Features of the Study
The study used a nonexperimental design to examine differences in employment outcomes after the passage of the PKP Act. The author used data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement from 1994 to 2007 for participants aged 25 to 61. The sample included 6,616 individuals with disabilities and 78,883 individuals without disabilities per year reported in the Current Population Survey. The author used a triple difference statistical model to estimate the impact of the PKP Act on employment outcomes by comparing Californians with disabilities to Californians without disabilities and individuals in other states without disabilities. The author used two time periods for the analysis: 1994 to 2000 (before the implementation of the PKP Act) and 2001 to 2007 (after the implementation of the PKP Act).
The study found that Californians with disabilities had significantly higher rates of employment than the comparison participants, with employment increasing by 3.8 percentage points after the PKP Act was passed.
The study found that Californians with disabilities had significantly lower rates of unemployment than the comparison participants, with unemployment rates decreasing by 1.4 percentage points after the PKP Act was passed.
The study found that individuals with disabilities in California had significantly higher rates of labor force participation than the comparison participants, with Californians with disabilities being 2.4 percentage points more likely to be employed after the PKP Act was passed.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
Because the analysis considered a policy operating in only one state, it is impossible to disentangle the effect of the PKP Act from the effect of the state itself; this is known as a confounding factor. For instance, there could have been other changes occurring at the state level at the same time that could also have affected the outcomes of interest. We cannot attribute the estimated effects with confidence to the PKP Act, and not to other factors. Therefore, the study is not eligible for a moderate causal evidence rating, the highest rating available for nonexperimental designs.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the program was implemented in only one state presenting a confounding factor. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to Prudence Kay Poppink Act; other factors are likely to have contributed.