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Oct 02, 2013

Understand what deadlines apply to new rules on veterans and disabilities

Affirmative ActionDisabilityHiring 

Employers with federal contracts or subcontracts need to understand their deadlines for coming into compliance with new affirmative action rules for veterans and people with disabilities.

Employers with federal contracts or subcontracts need to understand their deadlines for coming into compliance with new affirmative action rules for veterans and people with disabilities. All covered federal contractors will have to comply with certain parts of the rules in March 2014 (180 days after publication in the Federal Register, which should happen any day now). But there is a grandfathering option for other parts of the rules, for contractors that already have a written affirmative action plan in place as of the effective date of the new rules. We summarized these requirements in our webinar on September 12, 2013. You can watch and listen to the recorded webinar and download the handout at your convenience.

Here are the obligations that take effect in March 2014 for all covered federal contractors (i.e., those holding federal contracts worth at least $10,000 for the disabilities regulations and $100,000 for the veterans’ regulations):

    • Job ads must assure candidates that they will be considered without regard to their status as a protected veteran or a person with a disability. The phrase “equal opportunity employer” alone won’t be sufficient.
    • When posting jobs with the state, you must disclose your status as a federal contractor, request priority referrals of veterans, and provide current contact information for your hiring officials or others who hire on your behalf.
    • You must prominently display electronic posters for applicants (“EEO is the Law” and any other posters required by OFCCP) if you use an electronic application process.
    • Equal opportunity clauses in your purchase orders and subcontracts must contain mandatory language in bold text.

If you have at least 50 employees and $50,000 in federal contracts ($100,000 for purposes of coverage under the veterans’ rules), then you are required to have a written affirmative action plan (AAP) and to implement the new requirements below. If you already have a written AAP in place when the new rules take effect in March 2014, then you have the option of waiting until your next plan year to implement these requirements. Otherwise, the March 2014 deadline applies. You must take the following steps:

Vigilant will be reviewing our affirmative action plan language, legal guides, model forms, and model policies to bring them into compliance with the new rules. Questions? Contact your Vigilant affirmative action representative, and see the FAQs and other guidance posted on the OFCCP’s web pages for the new rules on veterans and people with disabilities. We will provide further information as details emerge.

To learn more about Vigilant's AAP services and how we help employers stay compliant, contact us.

    • Invite individuals to self-identify as a person with a disability or as a protected veteran at both the pre-offer and post-offer stage of the hiring process. You must also survey your workforce and then repeat the surveys of disability status every five years (Note: OFCCP is drafting mandatory language for the disability invitation to self-identify.) Vigilant recommends against implementing this provision prior to the deadline, due to concerns of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    • Collect and analyze certain data regarding the hiring process.
    • Establish a hiring benchmark for veterans of 8 percent for your entire facility (unless you choose to develop your own benchmark based on alternative data).
    • Establish a utilization goal of 7 percent for people with disabilities, for each of your job groups.
    • Notify your subcontractors of your affirmative action policy.
This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.