The New Regulations:
Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act
OFCCP’s New Regulations to Improve Job Opportunities for Protected Veterans
On September 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published a Final Rule in the Federal Register that makes changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended (VEVRAA) at 41 CFR Part 60-300. VEVRAA prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these veterans. The new rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire protected veterans and improve job opportunities for protected veterans.
The new regulations became effective on March 24, 2014. However, contractors with a written affirmative action program (AAP) already in place on the effective date have additional time to come into compliance with the AAP requirements. This compliance structure seeks to provide contractors the opportunity to maintain their current AAP cycle.
Highlights of the New Regulations
- Rescission of 41 CFR Part 60-250: The new regulations rescind the outdated 41 CFR Part 60-250 in its entirety. However, veterans that were formerly protected only under Part 60-250 are still protected from discrimination under the revised 41 CFR Part 60-300.
- Hiring benchmarks: The new regulations require that contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, which is published in the Benchmark Database, below, and will be updated annually by OFCCP. Alternatively, contractors may establish their own benchmarks using certain data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) that is also published by OFCCP, as well other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances. The data is posted in the Benchmark Database, below.
- Data collection: The new regulations require that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
- Invitation to Self-Identify: The new regulations require that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process. The new regulations include sample invitations to self-identify that contractors may use.
- Incorporation of the EO Clause: The new regulations require that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.
- Job Listings: The new regulations clarify that when listing their job openings, contractors must provide that information in a manner and format permitted by the appropriate State or local job service, so that it can access and use the information to make the job listings available to job seekers.
- Records Access: The new regulations clarify that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the new regulations require contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.
The new VEVRAA regulations