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OFCCP Releases Final Rules Updating Section 503 & VEVRAA

2013-08-27

On August 27, 2013, the Department of Labor released the final rules updating Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and VEVRAA (Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended) to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities and veterans.  Both of these rules provide metrics to measure federal contractor’s progress toward achieving equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities and protected veterans. 

Highlights of the Final Rule (Section 503)

 

  • Utilization goal:  A nationwide 7% utilization goal is established for qualified Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs). Contractors will apply the goal to each of their job groups or to their entire workforce if the contractor has 100 or fewer employees. Contractors must conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems.
  • Data collection: Contractors must document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of IWDs who apply for jobs and the number of IWDs they hire. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
  • Invitation to Self-Identify: Contractors must invite applicants to self-identify as IWDs at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process, using language prescribed by OFCCP. Contractors must also invite their employees to self-identify as IWDs every five years, using the prescribed language. This language will be posted on the OFCCP website (coming soon).
  • Incorporation of the EO Clause: Specific language must be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference.
  • Records Access: 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.  Contractors, upon request, must inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.
  • ADAAA: The Final Rule implements changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 by revising the definition of "disability" and certain nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations.

  

Highlights of the Final Rule (VEVRAA)

 

  • Rescission of 41 CFR Part 60-250: The Final Rule rescinds 41 CFR Part 60-250 in its entirety which covers veterans of the Vietnam era, special disabled veterans, other protected veterans and recently separated veterans.  This mean that the VETS100 report will no longer be available, only the VETS100A report.
  • Hiring benchmarks Contractors must establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans using 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 (currently 8%), 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: Contractors must document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
  • 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. The Final Rule includes sample invitations to self-identify that contractors may use.
  • Incorporation of the EO Clause:  Specific language must be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference.
  • Job Listings: When listing 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: 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. The Final Rule also 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.

 

The rules will be published shortly in the Federal Register and will take effect 180 days later.   You can read the Final Rules on the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/VEVRAARule/and http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503Rule/. 

OFCCP is offering the following webinars to assist Contractors prepare for the implementation of these final rules.

VEVRAA Webinar

·         August 29, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) or

·        September 11, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)

Section 503 Webinar

·         August 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) or

·        September 18, 2013 at 2:00 (ET)

 

The Contractor community has been on hold waiting for these final rules for some time.  Now that they out, we have only 180 days to implement the additional requirements imposed by these rules. We highly recommend that you participate in one of these webinars to learn more about your requirements for compliance.  

We will keep you posted with future compliance updates and guidance.  Feel free to contact us for assistance.


Disclaimer:  The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directive and other information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professonal counsel.