On March 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it was lowering the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark to 6.4 percent from 6.7 percent. The change applies to affirmative action plan (AAP) years starting on or after March 31, 2018.

The VEVRAA benchmark is a figure federal contractors must use to evaluate their hiring of protected veterans. Under VEVRAA regulations, contractors may either use OFCCP’s annual benchmark, which is based on annually updated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or establish their own benchmark by following the five-factor method outlined in OFCCP’s regulations. Relatively few contractors elect to calculate a customized benchmark; most choosing to accept the national number published by OFCCP.

Contractors that choose to use the annual national percentage of veterans as a benchmark are required to select whichever percentage is effective when their AAP year begins. Accordingly, contractors with affirmative action plan years beginning prior to March 31, 2018, will continue to measure their results against the 6.7 percent benchmark even if the plan documents will not be completed until after March 30, 2018.