In 2012, approximately 2.6 million of the nation´s veterans had served during Gulf War-era II. The unemployment rate for this category of veterans was 9.9 percent, compared to nonveterans at 7.9 percent. In this same year, the unemployment rate for male Gulf War-era II veterans age 18 to 24 was 20.0 percent, higher than the rate for nonveterans of the same age group (16.4 percent). In response to this data and the issues facing our returning veterans looking for employment, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) revised The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). The new VEVRAA regulations’ goals are to strengthen contractors’ affirmative action and nondiscrimination responsibilities and address the barriers veterans face upon returning to civilian.
On January 31st, 2014, The OFCCP has mailed advance notice audit letters to about 2,100 employers pre-warning them of a near future audit for compliance with the new rules governing VEVRA and Section 503 (for candidates with disabilities). Are you ready for the new regulations? What do you need to know to comply? Are you in compliance now?
The VEVRAA new regulations are right around the corner and take effect on March 24, 2014.
AJE is coordinating with OFCCP experts to educate federal contractors on the new changes.
Highlights of the New Rules
- Hiring benchmarks The Final Rule requires that contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, which will be published and updated annually by OFCCP. Alternatively, contractors may establish their own benchmarks using certain data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) that will be also be published by OFCCP, as well other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances.
- Data collection: The Final Rule requires that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
- Invitation to Self-Identify: The Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. The Final Rule includes sample invitations to self-identify that contractors may use.
- Incorporation of the EO Clause: The Final Rule requires that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.
- Job Listings: The Final Rule clarifies that when listing their job openings, contractors must provide that information in a manner and format permitted by the appropriate State or local job service, so that it can access and use the information to make the job listings available to job seekers.
- Records Access: The Final Rule clarifies that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the Final Rule requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.
Next Steps to Comply:
- Update your Affirmative Action Plan
- Identify yourself as a federal contractor on your Employment Service Delivery Systems
- Update source codes in your applicant tracking system
- Create user accounts in every state you post jobs
How can I get more information?
- Contact your Account Manager at America’s Job Exchange
- Watch AJE’s webinar on the new regulations. Simply download the presentation or watch a recording of the webinar.
Visit our website http://www.americasjobexchange.com/