News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Seeks to Clarify Rule to Improve Veterans, Military Service Members and Families’ Access to Healthcare

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) intended to clarify OFCCP's authority to help veterans, uniformed service members, and their families get access to the healthcare services they need.

The proposed rule would clarify that OFCCP has no authority over federal healthcare providers that participate in TRICARE, the healthcare program for uniformed service members, retirees and their families. The proposed rule offers an alternative that would establish a national interest exemption from Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 for healthcare providers with agreements to furnish medical services and supplies to individuals participating in TRICARE.

TRICARE healthcare entities would still be required to follow all other federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination and protecting equal employment opportunity.

"For far too long, TRICARE operators have been left to guess about the level of oversight they receive from OFCCP," said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director, Craig E. Leen. "Today's proposed rulemaking will allow TRICARE providers to shift resources away from expenses related to legal uncertainties and toward the veterans, active service members and families they serve."

The Department encourages interested parties to submit comments on the proposed rule. The NPRM, along with the procedures for submitting comments, are available at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/. The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2019, and be available for public comment for 30 days.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their compensation or the compensation of others subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Date
November 5, 2019
Release Number
19-1862-NAT
Contact: Edwin Nieves
Phone Number
Contact: Simone Walter
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