If you come under the Affirmative Action regulations, hold on to your seats. The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) is now enforcing sweeping new regulatory requirements that became effective March 24, 2014. The amendments to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and VEVRAA, the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, of the Affirmative Action regulations will now require federal contractors and subcontractors to survey applicants and employees for Veteran and Disability status. Additionally, the regulations will require affected companies to conduct statistical analyses with this information and establish hiring targets for disabled and Veterans in the workplace.
While it seems counter-intuitive to ask disability status pre or post offer, the OFCCP has received a memorandum of understanding from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stating that these inquiries do not run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, you must use the approved form, language and format when collecting this data.
Additionally, your outreach efforts to Veteran's and the Disabled must be documented and measured for effectiveness. No more checking the box that you went to three Veteran's job fairs and didn't get any qualified candidates. The new regulations require that you evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts and develop new strategies if the ones you tried didn't work.
Forward thinking companies are evaluating the types of work that can be done by individuals with disabilities and partnering with community organizations to help employ people with disabilities. Finding community resources that reach Veteran's - a base within your community or a VA hospital - can assist with hiring more Vets within your organization.
OFCCP enforcement has been aggressive and these new amendments to the regulations put more teeth into them. If you need skilled assistance navigating these new compliance waters or developing or revising your Affirmative Action Plan, please contact EPS today.