- What is a VEVRAA focused review?
- Why is OFCCP conducting VEVRAA focused reviews?
- Where can I learn more about the VEVRAA focused review?
- The VEVRAA focused review scheduling letter requests our Executive Order 11246 affirmative action program as well. Will OFCCP review the Executive Order affirmative action program during a VEVRAA focused review?
- If a contractor is in the middle of a VEVRAA focused review, can it also be scheduled for other types of reviews?
- Upon being scheduled for a VEVRAA focused review who do I need to talk to or email for compliance assistance, outreach, and education?
- How can I contact OFCCP if I have questions about the VEVRAA Focused Review Compliance Evaluation?
- Does the VEVRAA Focused Review Scheduling Letter request data and information required in the VEVRAA regulations?
- Will VEVRAA focused reviews occur at all contractor facilities?
- What will OFCCP examine and assess during a VEVRAA focused review?
- Will a VEVRAA focused review include an on-site review?
- Has OFCCP identified VEVRAA best practices to assist organizations and employers with recruitment, hiring, and retention of protected veterans?
- Are federal contractors permitted to proactively recruit and hire protected veterans?
- Are contractors permitted to alter OFCCP’s invitation to self-identify as a protected veteran?
- Will HIRE Vets Medallion Winners receive an exemption from the FY 2019 VEVRAA Focused Reviews Scheduling List?
- What is the mandatory job listing requirement under VEVRAA and how is it different from a job posting?
- Is there a scheduling exemption period for contractors that have completed a VEVRAA focused review?
- Are violations identified during a VEVRAA focused review resolved differently than violations identified in other types of OFCCP compliance evaluations?
- Are federal contractors required to give veterans preference when hiring?
- Does OFCCP enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act?
- Are reservists and National Guard members covered under VEVRAA?
What is a VEVRAA focused review?
On August 10, 2018, OFCCP issued Directive 2018-04, Focused Reviews of Contractor Compliance with Executive Order 11246, Section 503, and VEVRAA, which requires that future scheduling lists include focused reviews. A focused review is one that is restricted to one or more components of the contractor’s organization or one or more aspects of the contractor’s employment practices. VEVRAA focused reviews will include a comprehensive review of the contractor policies and procedures as they relate solely to VEVRAA. The reviews will also include an on-site investigation and interviews with managers responsible for equal employment opportunity and VEVRAA compliance (such as the VEVRAA coordinator) as well as employees affected by those policies. OFCCP would also evaluate the handling of accommodation requests to ensure that protected veterans are not discriminated against in employment.
Why is OFCCP conducting VEVRAA focused reviews?
OFCCP and the U.S. Department of Labor are committed to protecting the rights of protected veterans and families of protected veterans in the workplace, and eliminating barriers to equal employment opportunities for these individuals. As a demonstration of our commitment, OFCCP will conduct focused reviews under VEVRAA to ensure that federal contractors comply with equal employment opportunity obligations and consider additional best practices to increase the employment of qualified protected veterans and families of protected veterans. Ensuring these steps are taken can help to reduce substantial obstacles many protected veterans face when seeking employment after leaving the service.
Where can I learn more about the VEVRAA focused review?
OFCCP created a landing page that specifically discusses VEVRAA focused reviews. These materials can be accessed at www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/vevraa/focused-reviews.
The VEVRAA focused review scheduling letter requests our Executive Order 11246 affirmative action program as well. Will OFCCP review the Executive Order affirmative action program during a VEVRAA focused review?
No. OFCCP will not conduct a review of the Executive Order affirmative action program (AAP) during VEVRAA focused reviews. While OFCCP will request the Executive Order AAP as part of VEVRAA focused reviews, the Executive Order AAP will only be used to help the OFCCP compliance officer get a clearer picture of the contractor’s organizational structure and understand generally how the VEVRAA compliance strategies fit with the contractor’s other affirmative efforts. OFCCP will not analyze data contained in the Executive Order AAP to look for discrimination based on sex, race, or ethnicity. If elements of the Executive Order AAP document are missing or insufficient on their face, OFCCP will note those issues and take appropriate actions, beginning with technical assistance, to bring the contractor into compliance. For example, if the Executive Order AAP job group analysis does not include a list of the job titles that comprise each job group, OFCCP will provide technical assistance and require the contractor to submit the missing information, which will then be noted in the closure notice.
If a contractor is in the middle of a VEVRAA focused review, can it also be scheduled for other types of reviews?
No. While a focused review is pending at an establishment, the establishment will be exempt from the scheduling of additional compliance evaluations. However, if OFCCP receives a complaint a VEVRAA focused review alleging violations under any of the three laws OFCCP administers, OFCCP will investigate the complaint accordingly.
Upon being scheduled for a VEVRAA focused review who do I need to talk to or email for compliance assistance, outreach, and education?
Contractors are encouraged to take advantage of OFCCP’s technical assistance materials available in the Contractors Tab at the top of OFCCP’s website. The contractor can also contact the OFCCP regional or district office that sent the scheduling letter for any other questions about the compliance evaluation process or if they require individualized compliance assistance. OFCCP’s district office staff will contact the contractor to offer technical assistance before or immediately after sending the scheduling letter. Contractors can also seek assistance through the Contractor Assistance Portal.
How can I contact OFCCP if I have questions about the VEVRAA Focused Review Compliance Evaluation?
Contractors can contact OFCCP’s Toll-Free Help Line at 1-800-397-6251 (TTY 1-877-889-5627) to get additional information about VEVRAA focused reviews.
Does the VEVRAA Focused Review Scheduling Letter request data and information required in the VEVRAA regulations?
Yes. The VEVRAA Focused Review Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing specify the documents and data related to VEVRAA that a contractor must provide to OFCCP when selected for a VEVRAA focused review. These items include the contractor’s VEVRAA AAP and the documentation and information required by Subpart C of the regulations, including but not limited to the contractor’s annual hiring benchmark for veterans, evaluation of outreach and recruitment efforts, and the data described in 41 CFR 60-300.44(k).
Will VEVRAA focused reviews occur at all contractor facilities?
VEVRAA focused reviews will take place at contractors’ corporate headquarters, establishment, or functional unit locations.
What will OFCCP examine and assess during a VEVRAA focused review?
During a VEVRAA focused review, OFCCP will assess the contractor’s compliance with all elements of the VEVRAA regulation, including whether the contractor conducted the required assessments of its employment policies and tracked appropriate data concerning protected veterans.
OFCCP will also provide compliance assistance identifying ways in which contractors implement best practices intended to increase the number of qualified protected veterans that are hired into their workforce. If the focused review is of a contractor that maintains a FAAP, then the on-site visit may extend to more than one location. During a review, OFCCP will collect information about any measures the contractor has taken beyond those required in the regulations. For those contractors that demonstrate innovative and successful diversity and inclusion efforts for protected veterans, OFCCP will examine ways to recognize the contractor for its efforts, consistent with OFCCP’s Directive 2018-06, Contractor Recognition Program.
Will a VEVRAA focused review include an on-site review?
Yes. OFCCP will conduct virtual on-site reviews for VEVRAA focused reviews, with the possibility for physical on-site reviews in the future. OFCCP has successfully conducted virtual on-site reviews for Section 503 focused reviews due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Has OFCCP identified VEVRAA best practices to assist organizations and employers with recruitment, hiring, and retention of protected veterans?
Are federal contractors permitted to proactively recruit and hire protected veterans?
Yes. VEVRAA requires that covered federal contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment disabled veterans. Accordingly, contractors must undertake appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities that are reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified protected veterans (41 CFR 60-300.44(f)). Such proactive recruitment and hiring practices should include at least some of the following:
Enlisting the assistance and support of the following persons and organizations in recruiting, and developing on-the-job opportunities for veterans, to fulfill its commitment to provide meaningful employment opportunities for such veterans: from the local Veterans’ Employment Representative in the local employment service office nearest the contractor’s establishment; the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office nearest the contractor’s establishment; the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program; and local veterans’ counselors and coordinators on college campuses.
Incorporating special efforts to reach students who are disabled veterans while recruiting at educational institutions.
Taking any other positive steps it deems necessary to attract qualified protected veterans not currently in the workforce who have requisite skills and can be recruited through affirmative action measures. These individuals may be located through state vocational rehabilitation agencies and employment networks.
In making hiring decisions, considering veteran applicants who are known protected veterans for all available positions for which they may be qualified when the position applied for is unavailable.
Contractors should consider listing its job openings with the National Resource Directory’s Veterans Job Bank, or any future service that replaces or complements it.
Are contractors permitted to alter OFCCP’s invitation to self-identify as a protected veteran?
Yes. The sample self-identification form included in Appendix B to 41 CFR Part 60-300 of the VEVRAA regulations is intended to be a helpful example, but contractors are welcome to develop their own form. In fact, OFCCP updated the sample provided in Appendix B after the VETS-4212 Report was updated to eliminate the need for federal contractors to report the categories of protected veterans. The new sample form for VEVRAA is available on OFCCP’s website. To meet the regulatory requirements, the invitation must state that the contractor is a federal contractor required to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment protected veterans under VEVRAA; summarize the relevant portions of VEVRAA and the contractor's affirmative action program; and state that the information is being requested on a voluntary basis, that it will be kept confidential, that refusal to provide it will not subject the applicant to any adverse treatment, and that it will not be used in a manner inconsistent with VEVRAA.
Will HIRE Vets Medallion Winners receive an exemption from the FY 2019 VEVRAA Focused Reviews Scheduling List?
Yes, the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion winners were excluded from the 2019 VEVRAA Focused Reviews Scheduling List. If a 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Winner (federal contractor) is on the list, OFCCP will proactively remove it from the list. You can confirm your removal by sending an email to the scheduling mailbox at OFCCP-DPO-Scheduling@DOL.gov. To confirm if you are a HIRE Vets Medallion winner, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor VETS website at www.hirevets.gov/awardees.
What is the mandatory job listing requirement under VEVRAA and how is it different from a job posting?
The VEVRAA regulations clarify what contractors must do to satisfy the job listing requirement in VEVRAA. The regulations require that contractors must provide job listing information in a format that is permitted by the appropriate employment service delivery system (ESDS). This means, for example, that if the ESDS requires electronic transmission through a web‐based form, the contractor must provide its job listings in this way. If the ESDS accepts job listings electronically, by fax, or by mail, then the contractor can provide its job listings in any of these formats. At the time of its initial listing, contractors must indicate that they are a federal contractor that desires priority referrals of protected veterans for job openings. Contractors must also provide the ESDS with contact information for the official responsible for hiring at each hiring location in the state. This official may be a chief hiring official, a human resources contact, a senior management contact, or any other appropriate official. Contractors must provide the ESDS with updated information at the time of its next job listing should there be changes to any of this information.
A job posting is an additional recruitment tool that can be conducted simultaneously with the mandatory job listing. While job postings are not required by the regulations, they may be used as part of a contractor’s outreach and recruitment efforts for protected veterans if they are placed with a veterans’ job bank or similar service.
Is there a scheduling exemption period for contractors that have completed a VEVRAA focused review?
Yes, consistent with OFCCP’s general policy regarding compliance reviews, contractor establishments or functional units that have undergone a VEVRAA focused review will be exempt from another neutrally scheduled compliance evaluation for 24 months from the date of closure of the VEVRAA focused review or the date OFCCP accepts a final progress report unless a different exemption period under other OFCCP policies and/or programs is provided and agreed to by OFCCP and the contractor.
Are violations identified during a VEVRAA focused review resolved differently than violations identified in other types of OFCCP compliance evaluations?
No, violations identified during a VEVRAA focused review will be resolved consistent with the resolution procedures outlined in the Federal Contract Compliance Manual.
Are federal contractors required to give veterans preference when hiring?
No, OFCCP does not require federal contractors to provide a preference in hiring for veterans. However, OFCCP’s VEVRAA regulations provide that contractors must notify the appropriate employment service delivery system that it requests priority referral of qualified veterans for employment. Further, OFCCP encourages contractors to take active steps in its outreach and recruitment efforts to meet the VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark.
Does OFCCP enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act?
No, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is the administering agency for Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Among other things, VETS assists individuals experiencing service-connected problems with their civilian employment and provides information about USERRA to employers. Employer obligations or responsibilities under USERRA, including service members’ reemployment rights when returning from a period of qualified uniformed service, are not necessarily covered by VEVRAA, although there is some overlap in the protections provided by the two laws. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/agencies/vets/programs/userra
Are reservists and National Guard members covered under VEVRAA?
An individual who served as a reservist or National Guard member does not qualify as a protected veteran unless they meet the full-time active duty service requirement and fall into one of the protected veteran categories under VEVRAA. A protected veteran is classified as a:
- “Disabled veteran”;
- “Recently separated veteran”;
- “Active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran”; or
- “Armed Forces service medal veteran.”
More information on these classifications is available in OFCCP’s “Am I a Protected Veteran?” infographic. Note that Reservists and National Guard members may be protected under USERRA even if they are not protected under VEVRAA. For further discussion on the protected veteran categories, please see www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/faqs/vevraa.