The OFCCP revised the regulations in an effort to strengthen federal contractor obligations and responsibilities with respect to protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
The OFCCP has announced that contractors may take advantage of a “phased in” compliance schedule. Current contractors with written affirmative action programs (AAP) in place on the effective date of the final rule are not required to comply with the final rules until the start of their next 12-month AAP review and updating cycle.
Contractors should take pro-active steps to incorporate the rules into their affirmative action planning as soon as possible.
The following is an overview of the rules:
Federal Contractors are now required to establish hiring benchmark for veterans. Contractors may establish hiring benchmarks in one of two ways. Establish benchmarks that are equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, which is currently 8% or contractors, can generate their own benchmarks based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics and four additional factors.
Invitation to Self-Identify
Contractors must invite applicants to self-identify during the pre-offer stage of the hiring process and after an offer of employment.
The OFCCP has posted on its web-site a sample “Pre-Employment Self-Identification form for veterans and a Post-Offer Self-Identification form for veterans.
Data Retention and Analysis for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities
The rules require contractors to capture: (1) The number of applicants who self-identified as protected veterans and individuals with disabilities;(2) The total number of job openings and total number of jobs filled; (3) The total number of applicants for all jobs;(4) The number of protected veteran applicants and applicants with disabilities hired;(5) The total number of applicants hired.
Data must be retained for a period of 3 years.
Equal Employment Opportunity Clause in Federal Contracts and Sub-contracts
Contractors must include specific language regarding VEVRAA obligations in each subcontract.
“This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). This rule prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.”
Employment solicitations and Employment Delivery Systems
Contractors are required to state in their job solicitations and ads that they are equal opportunity employers of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
Contractors are also required to provide job vacancy information to local ESDS or privately run services or exchanges “in any manner and format permitted by the appropriate [ESDS] which will allow that system to provide priority referral of veterans protected by VEVRAA for that job vacancy.”
Individuals with Disabilities(Section 503)
Contractors are required to establish workforce utilization goals of 7%. If the company has a total workforce of 100 or fewer employees, the 7% goal is applied to the total workforce.
Invitations to Self-Identify
Contractors must invite current employees to self-identify during the first year the company is subject to the final rules and update their databases every 5 years. During the 5-yearperiod, a reminder communication must be sent to all employees.
Equal Employment Opportunity clause in federal contracts and sub-contracts
Similar to the final rules for Veterans the following clause must be used
“This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5(a). This rule prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.”
Revised definition of Disability to align with ADA
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008(ADAAA) and the final regulations define a disability as:
A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and when a covered entity take an action prohibited by the ADA because of an actual or perceived impairment that is not both transitory and minor.