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OFCCP Issues 2024 Benchmark for Veteran Hires

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that the national military veteran hiring benchmark for the next 12 months is 5.2 percent.

The veteran hiring goal for federal contractors covered under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) went into effect March 31. The benchmark—which represents the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force—slipped from the 5.4 percent it had occupied for the previous 12 months.

“Although the 2024 hiring benchmark is only a small decrease from 2023, it continues the benchmark’s downward trend that has taken place each year since it was established in 2014,” said Christopher Near, an attorney in the Columbia, S.C., office of Ogletree Deakins and a member of the firm’s OFCCP Compliance, Government Contracting, and Reporting Practice Group.

VEVRAA prohibits discrimination against protected veterans and requires federal contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote and retain protected veterans.

Protected veterans are defined as those with service-connected disabilities, those who served on active duty during wartime, those who received an Armed Forces Service medal and those who separated from the military within the last three years. 

“VEVRAA requires contractors with written affirmative action programs [AAPs] to either develop their own individualized hiring benchmark using the five-factor method or adopt OFCCP’s national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force,” Near explained. “This benchmark is intended to be a tool used in assessing the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts toward protected veterans, which is required to be completed annually as part of the AAP process.”

If contractors decide to use their own hiring benchmark instead of the OFCCP’s measure, they must consider the following five factors:

  • The average percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force for the state where the employer’s establishment is located for the previous three years.
  • The number of veterans who sought jobs through the employment services system in the state where the establishment is located over the previous four quarters.
  • The applicant ratio and hiring ratio comparing the number of protected veteran applicants and hires to the total number of applicants and hires for the establishment for the previous year.
  • The most recent assessment of the employer’s effectiveness of veteran outreach and recruitment efforts.
  • Other factors, such as the nature of the job openings or the facility’s location, which would tend to affect the availability of qualified protected veterans.

The OFCCP released additional resources to assist contractors with setting and using the hiring benchmark.


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