Affirmative Action Rules Updated for Federal Contractors

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued two final rules changing existing contractor and subcontractor requirements for the hiring of disabled individuals and veterans under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).
One of the rules requires federal contractors to set benchmarks for veteran hiring either at the national level of 8 percent or based on their own analysis of the best available data, increases record-keeping mandates, and clarifies job listing and subcontractor requirements. The other rule requires contractors to work to fill 7 percent of each job group in their workforces with qualified people with disabilities and sets new recruiting, training, and record-keeping requirements similar to OFCCP guidelines for women and minorities.
The recordkeeping and reporting increases associated with these rules may be concerning for some IEC members that do business with the federal government. The disabilities rule establishes an unprecedented paperwork burden that is completely new for the construction industry. Beginning in 2014, employers will be required to collect and maintain data related to the hiring and employment of disabled workers and compare representation in each job group to the OFCCP’s new 7 percent goal, which applies to all job groups regardless of the type of job, geographical location, or actual applicant pool. In addition to the new recordkeeping burdens, the new rule fails to address the actual barriers to hiring veterans such as finding employees with the right experience and skills.
View the veterans rule in full here and the persons with disabilities rule here.