OFCCP Changes Rules on Veterans and the Disabled
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on August 28, 2013 announced two new rules that apply to federal contractors and subcontractors. The new rules are designed to increase the hiring and employment of military veterans and individuals with disabilities. One rule updates the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA); the other rule updates Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The VEVRAA rule provides contractors with a quantifiable metric to measure success in recruiting and employing veterans by requiring that contractors annually adopt a workforce benchmark of either eight (8) percent or their own benchmark based on the best available data. The new rule increases contractors’ record-keeping requirements. The new rule also clarifies job listing and subcontractor requirements.
The Section 503 rule introduces a hiring goal for federal contractors and subcontractors that seven (7) percent of each job group in their workforce be qualified individuals with disabilities. The rule also details specific actions that contractors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record-keeping and policy dissemination. These requirements are similar to those that have long been required with regard to women and minorities.
The new rules will become effective 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register. Employers with affirmative action programs who have questions or seek assistance with the new OFCCP rules may contact Wimberly Lawson attorneys for assistance.