On August 28, 2013, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its final regulations regarding the employment of veterans and disabled. The OFCCP referred to the new regulations as "one tool in OFCCP's arsenal for targeting employment practices." The new regulations include several important changes for federal contractors, including:
- A nationwide seven percent utilization goal for disabled individuals.
- A hiring benchmark for veterans based on a) the current national percentage of working veterans (eight percent) or b) the contractor's own benchmark based on best available data.
- Additional data collection and analysis requirements for veterans and disabled, including the number of veteran and disabled applicants, new hires and employees.
- New invitation to self-identify requirements for veterans and disabled – pre-offer and post-offer – including a requirement that employers invite employees to identify themselves as disabled every five years.
- Notice in job listings that the posting entity is a federal contractor seeking veteran and disabled applicants.
- Additional language in all subcontracts explaining that the regulations prohibit discrimination of veteran status or disabilities, and requiring affirmative action to employ and advance veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities.
- Increased recordkeeping requirements to three years.
The new rules are expected to be published within the next 10 days and will go into effect 180 days after publication. We recommend contractors begin working now on revising policies and practices in order to be compliant by the effective date.
A complete copy of the new regulations pertaining to veterans can be found here.
A complete copy of the new regulations pertaining to disabled can be found here.
New Compliance Manual
The OFCCP also released its revised Federal Contract Compliance Manual (FCCM). The new FCCM has been anticipated for quite some time and is the first revision in over a decade. The FCCM sets forth guidance on how the OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations, but does not create new legal rights or requirements or change current legal rights or requirements for the OFCCP or federal contractors.
The OFCCP has stated that it has spent significant time training its compliance officers and managers on the procedures outlined in the new manual. We expect the OFCCP to immediately change some of its procedures in compliance evaluations.
The FCCM can be used to provide contractors information about what to expect in the event of a compliance evaluation. The manual memorializes some of the more aggressive practices the OFCCP has established in recent years. For example, in recent years, the OFCCP has implemented a practice of giving contractors numerous supplemental requests for data during a compliance review. The manual states a broad list of occasions during a compliance review that the OFCCP may request additional data from contractors. The manual also directs – rather than encourages – compliance officers to go on-site during a compliance review.
Further, the manual effectively extends the OFCCP's long used "2 year rule" under which contractors were held liable for any unlawful acts that occurred within the two years prior to the date of a compliance evaluation. The new FCCM states "[i]f the CO [compliance officer] finds a continuing violation, the contractor should provide remedies, except for back pay, for the entire period of the violation."
A complete copy of the new FCCM can be found here.
For More Information
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