Contractors must offer each applicant the opportunity to self-identify as a protected veteran under VEVRAA at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the hiring process.127 This data on applicants will be used by contractors to perform other components in their AAPs, such as the annual assessment of the effectiveness of outreach and positive recruitment efforts. The information is also used by the contractor to complete the annual VETS-4212 form. Contractors are required to keep all information on self-identification confidential.128
COs must confirm that the invitation for applicants to self-identify as protected veterans under VEVRAA is voluntary. The contractor must not use an applicant’s refusal to self-identify to subject the applicant to any adverse treatment.
Unlike Section 503, contractors do not have a requirement to invite employees to self-identify under VEVRAA. Also, the VEVRAA regulations do not mandate that contractors use a prescribed form for self-identification purposes. Even though there is not a mandated form, invitations to identify as a protected veteran must contain the following components:
- A statement that the company is a federal contractor required to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment protected veterans pursuant to VEVRAA;
- A summary of the relevant portions of VEVRAA and the contractor’s AAP;
- A statement that the information is being requested on a voluntary basis;
- A statement that the information will be kept confidential;
- A statement that refusal to provide the information will not subject the applicant to adverse treatment; and
- A statement that the information will not be used in a manner inconsistent with VEVRAA.
An acceptable form for the invitation to self-identify is provided in the regulations and contractors may opt to use it.129
During an on-site review, COs must request a copy of the invitation used by contractors if it was not provided in the AAP, as well as request a sample of completed self-identification invitations. COs also must review any communication that contractors use to invite 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 to self-identify at the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the hiring process.
Depending on the scope of the on-site review, COs may examine the application or personnel file, or both, of each individual in the sample of completed self-identification invitations. For disabled veterans, this examination would include ensuring that the self-identification information is kept separately from personnel and medical files. COs may also 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 as a disabled veteran 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.
VEVRAA has the same restrictions on disability-related inquiries and medical examinations as Section 503 explained earlier in FCCM Chapter 2H03.
127. See 41 CFR 300.42 (a-b).
128. See 41 CFR 300.42 (e).
129. See Appendix B to Part 60-300 – Sample Invitation to Self-Identify.