On October 27, 2014, a new reporting form for veterans, the VETS 4212 reporting form, replaced the VETS-100A and VETS-100 Forms. In response to inquiries about contractors’ new requirements as a result of this chance, on January 20, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) posted two new questions to its compilation of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) on the new Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) regulations. Both questions concern the new form and the requirement to invite voluntary self-identification of protected veteran status under VEVRAA.
As we reported in our last blog post on the new form, “OFCCP Self-ID and Equal Pay Tool Updates,” the VETS 4212 does not require contractors to report specific categories of “protected veterans” but instead requires only the reporting on the total number of protected veterans in the aggregate—thereby altering contractors’ obligations to invite applicants or employees to identify specific veteran category status.
The first of the two questions asks whether contractors must continue to invite applicants to self-identify by specific category of protected veteran at the post-offer stage:
The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) replaced the VETS-100A form with a new VETS-4212 form. The new form requires federal contractors to report aggregate data on the number of protected veterans that were newly hired and the number they employed. This is different from the previous requirement that contractors report the data by the number of veterans in each of the individual categories for protected veterans. To comply with OFCCP’s VEVRAA requirements, must contractors continue to invite applicants to self-identify using the individual categories at the post-offer stage?
The OFCCP’s FAQs page makes clear that contractors are not required to invite applicants who have been offered a job to self-identify by category.
The second question addresses the permissibility of inviting applicants to self-identify using the individual categories:
May a contractor continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as a protected veteran using the individual categories for protected veterans even though the new VETS-4212 form asks only for aggregated protected veteran data?
According to the FAQs, contractors may choose to continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify by specific category although they are not required to.
The OFCCP has over 40 “Frequently Asked Questions,” on VEVRAA including these two new ones on the OFCCP’s website.