In yet another development in the constantly changing affirmative action compliance landscape, on February 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The proposed changes would affect how covered contractors and subcontractors report protected employees and applicants that have identified as veterans as defined by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (VEVRAA).
Currently, depending on the date and value of the contract triggering coverage under VEVRAA, contractors must choose from two different annual forms, each of which uses different veterans categories to report employees and new hires. Calling portions of the current regulations “obsolete,” the NPRM eliminates the VETS-100 report and proposes to change the name of the VETS-100A report to the “VETS-4212” report. Along with the name change, the VETS-4212 will allow contractors to report the aggregate number of protected veterans, rather than the total in each category to which protected veterans belong. (Under the current structure, a veteran can be counted in more than one veteran category.) Additionally, through the NPRM, the agency seeks to align the veterans categories to comport with the components of the new veterans regulations that will become effective on March 24, 2014.
While the agency is seeking to enhance the integrity of the employability data for veterans, a single report with one set of veterans categories should eliminate some confusion that currently clouds this annual requirement. Contractors will have 60 days to comment on this NPRM.