November 8, 2013 •
New Federal Rules for Contractorsʹ Employment of Veterans and Persons with Disabilities
Beginning in March 2014, contractors with the federal government will have additional disclosure requirements concerning the hiring and employment of veterans and individuals with disabilities.
One regulation change sets up a hiring goal for individuals with disabilities. The goal is for federal contractors and subcontractors to have seven percent of each job group in their workforce staffed with qualified individuals with disabilities, according to the U.S. Labor Department press release released August 27, 2013.
The Labor Department identifies the seven percent goal as an “aspirational utilization goal” and states “the goal is not a quota.” The rule also specifies actions vendors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping, and policy dissemination. The U.S. Labor Department identifies these rules as being similar to those currently required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities.
Additionally, regulations concerning the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act have been amended to include hiring benchmarks, data collection, and access to a contractor’s documentation related to compliance by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. According to the Labor Department’s notice of the program, contractors will utilize one of two benchmark methods: they can use a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, or they may establish their own benchmarks using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data from the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration, and other factors reflecting a contractor’s hiring circumstances. When listing job openings, contractors must invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. Sample invitations to self-identify will be provided by the Labor Department.
Contractors must document and annually update quantitative comparisons revealing the number of people with disabilities and veterans applying for jobs and the number hired. Contractors must then maintain the information for three years.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.