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OFCCP Announces New Regulations on Disability and Veterans Employment
Yesterday, Tuesday, August 27, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced new rules outlining how federal contractors should handle their affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for protected veterans and for individuals with disabilities. These rules, in large part, mirror each other and fundamentally alter the rules for compliance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 covering persons with disabilities and The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act which governs protected veterans.
SHRM has a long history of working both independently and in cooperation with federal agencies to provide our members with tools and information on the workplace needs of these two groups of employees. SHRM provided OFCCP with constructive comments on the rules when they were initially proposed to help make the rules better focused on affirmative action’s goal of being a management tool rather than a paperwork exercise. In the final rules, OFCCP made modest improvements to the rules. The changes include:
Although some aspects of the rules were made less onerous, the final versions of both rules include significant requirements for employers. Under each rule, the OFCCP requires employers to achieve specific numeric goals to document compliance. For example, the final disabilities rule still requires that 7 percent of all persons in each of the organization’s job groups be individuals with disabilities. It also requires that contractors compare the number of individuals with disabilities (IWD) who apply to the number of IWD that are hired, and keep those records for three years for audit purposes.
The rules will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days and will be effective 180 days after publication. In the meantime, SHRM is continuing to analyze the requirements of the final rules and will provide additional information in the coming days.
OFCCP will be hosting webinars for those interested in receiving additional information regarding the new regulations:
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
For additional information regarding the OFCCP rules, contact Nancy Hammer, SHRM’s Senior Government Affairs Policy Counsel at Nancy.Hammer@shrm.org or (703)535-6030.
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