Employers have been asking for a status update on the sweeping proposed changes to the affirmative action regulations on veterans and people with disabilities. The answer is that we’re still waiting. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) had hoped to get the final regulations out in April 2013. However, their efforts were complicated by the resignation of the Secretary of Labor (their boss). The new nominee, Tom Perez, hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate. We’ve been told that the OFCCP is unlikely to publish major new regulations while the leadership at the Department of Labor is in flux. These proposals were highly controversial due to the significant new obligations they would impose on employers, so even after a Senate confirmation, there may still be a delay while the new Secretary gets up to speed on the issues. If and when the new regulations are released, Vigilant will alert our members and affirmative action clients.
In the meantime, the OFCCP is charging full speed ahead with affirmative action audits of federal contractors. Even though the regulations haven’t changed, the agency expects employers to have effective outreach programs for veterans and people with disabilities. Having trouble locating outreach organizations in your area? The OFCCP now offers a searchable online database, the Employment Referral Resource Directory. Don’t expect the database to be completely current, but it’s a useful starting point. When you talk to potential partners in your outreach efforts, remember to ask them for suggestions of other organizations who might be able to help you find qualified candidates.
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