Contractors must offer each applicant the opportunity to self-identify as an individual with a disability under Section 503 at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the hiring process.116 Within the first year of being subject to Section 503, contractors must also extend the invitation to self-identify to all of its employees and at five-year intervals thereafter. In the intervening years, contractors are required to remind employees, at least once, that they may voluntarily update their disability status at any time.117 This data on applicants and employees with disabilities will be used by contractors to perform other components in their AAPs, such as the utilization analysis and the annual assessment of the effectiveness of outreach and positive recruitment efforts. Contractors are required to keep all information on self-identification confidential and maintain it in a data analysis file, rather than in the medical or personnel files of individual employees.118
a. Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form. Under Section 503, the invitation to self-identify must be made by the contractor using the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form (Form CC-305) that is authorized by the OMB.119 Some contractors may prefer to create an electronically fillable version of the form used to invite self-identification. Electronically fillable versions are permitted, provided that the electronic version meets certain requirements. The e-form must:
- Display the OMB number and expiration date;
- Contain the text of the form without alteration;
- Use a sans-serif font, such as Calibri or Arial; and
- Use at least 11-pitch for font size (with the exception of the footnote and burden statement, which must be at least 10-pitch in size).
OFCCP specifies the minimum size and type of font to ensure the consistency of appearance, ease of reading and the general accessibility of the form. By using the OMB number and date, job applicants and employees know that the form is an officially approved government form.
Some contractors may find that it is necessary to make nonsubstantive changes to the self-identification form to ensure that the form is accessible to employees and job applicants with disabilities. Contractors seeking to ensure that the form they use is accessible are allowed to alter the margins of the form, change the color of the section headings, remove or change the color of the border surrounding the text of the form, or make other similar nonsubstantive changes. Contractors may also use HTML to make the form accessible. However, contractors may NOT:
- Alter the content (i.e., text or wording) of the form;
- Alter the order of the content on the form; or
- Alter the form or make changes that diminish the general accessibility of the form.
b. On-site Verification of Contractors’ Invitations to Self-Identify. During an on-site review, COs must request a sample of completed self-identification invitations to verify that the contractor uses the OMB-approved form. COs also must review any memoranda, emails or other form of communication that contractors use to invite employees and applicants to self-identify, or that contractors use to discuss or encourage self-identification. In examining these documents, COs must determine whether the contractor’s invitation to self-identify is completely voluntary, and whether the contractor is following the required process to invite applicants at the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the hiring process. In addition, COs must determine whether the contractor extended this invitation to employees within the first year of being subject to Section 503 and at least every five years thereafter, with a reminder notice at least once during the years between employee invitations.
Recognizing that contractors may have different practices and information technology capabilities, OFCCP permits a range of options for documenting compliance with the invitation to self-disclose disability requirement.
- Paper Invitations. A contractor that invites voluntary self-identification of disability by using paper copies of the OFCCP self-identification form must retain either the hard copies of the completed self-identification forms or electronic copies (e.g., pdf, scanned, etc.) of the completed paper forms. The contractor must also retain any log, spreadsheet or database that it may have developed to record the data from the self-identification forms.
- Electronic Invitations. A contractor that electronically invites voluntary self-identification of disability must either:
- Retain electronic copies (e.g., pdf, scanned, etc.) of the electronically completed self-identification forms, as well as any log, spreadsheet or database it may have developed to record the data from the self-identification forms;
- Retain hard copies of the electronically completed self-identification forms, as well as any log, spreadsheet or database it may have developed to record the data from the self-identification forms; or
- Retain a detailed log, spreadsheet or database of the data collected from each electronically completed form, without copies of each individually completed form, if the electronic system does not store completed forms. However, the contractor must also be able to demonstrate how they delivered and/or displayed the voluntary invitation to self-identify. This demonstration allows COs to verify that contractors met their obligation to use the OMB-approved form.
Depending on the focus of the on-site review, COs may examine the application or personnel file, or both, of each individual who self-identifies as having a disability; and review employment data indicating whether the contractor hired these individuals and, if not, the reason for nonselection. COs will also examine whether the individual requested a reasonable accommodation for application or employment and, if so, review the appropriate accommodation records to determine whether the contractor handled the accommodation request appropriately. If the contractor denied an accommodation request, COs must determine whether the denial was proper and whether, if needed, the contractor provided a suitable alternative accommodation without undue delay. If any concerns are identified, COs will also interview the affected applicants, employees and others, as appropriate.
116. See 41 CFR 741.42 (a-b).
117. See 41 CFR 741.42 (c).
118. See 41 CFR 741.42 (e).
119. The form, with OMB Control Number 1250-0005, is available in several languages at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/sec503/Self_ID_Forms/SelfIDForms.htm (last checked September 10, 2019).