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New Employment Rules for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities

On August 27, 2013, The U.S Department of Labor announced two new rules that aim to help the hiring and employment of veterans and people with disabilities. Both rules apply to both federal contractors and subcontractors and strengthen the old laws in which federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against, and are required to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote, qualified veterans and people with disabilities. In both cases, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) new regulations are in place to improve job opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities.

The new regulations affecting veterans will update requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and became effective March 24, 2014. The VEVRAA new regulations include:

Hiring Benchmarks: Contractors must use an annual hiring benchmark or quantifiable metric to measure their success in recruiting and employing veterans. The benchmark is either based on the national percentage of veterans in the civilian workforce (Benchmark Database), or it’s establish based on data from other appropriate sources (BLS, VETS/ETA, OFCCP).

  • Data Collection: Contractors must maintain several, annual quantitive measurements and comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs versus the number of veterans hired.
  • Job Listings: Contractor job listings must be provided in a format that state agencies can access and use to make job listings available to job seekers.
  • Invitation to Self-Identify: Contractors must invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. Sample invitations are now available for contractors to use and self-identify.
  • Incorporation of the EO Clause: With specific language, prime contractors must include specific, mandated language in their subcontracts alerting subcontractors to their responsibilities as federal contractors.
  • Records Access: Contractors must allow the OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option.

 The new regulations for individuals with disabilities updates the requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and became effective on March 24, 2014.The new regulations include:

  • Utilization Goal: The new hiring goal includes a nationwide goal of 7% for qualified individuals with disabilities in each job group or entire workforce if the contractor has fewer than 100 employees. An annual utilization analysis must be performed to assess problem areas.
  • Invitation to Self-Identify: Contractors are required to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as an individual with a disability at the pre-offer stage of the hiring process, using OFCCP approved language. Employees are invited to self-identify every five years.
  • Incorporation of the EO Clause: With specific language, prime contractors must include specific, mandated language in their subcontracts alerting subcontractors to their responsibilities as federal contractors.
  • Data Collection: Contractors must maintain several quantitative measurements and comparisons for the number of individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs versus the number of individuals with disabilities hired.
  • Records Access: Contractors must allow the OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option.
  • ADAAA: The new rule also implements changes required by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, including a revision of the definition of “disability.”

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