On December 17, 2013, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing guidance regarding implementation of its recent Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503) Final Rules.
The OFCCP announced the long-awaited Final Rules on August 27, 2013. As discussed in our earlier briefing, the Final Rules revised the VEVRAA and Section 503 regulations in an effort to update and strengthen contractors’ affirmative action and nondiscrimination responsibilities with respect to covered veterans and disabled individuals. The Final Rules include new components to contractors’ affirmative action plans, new self-identification requirements, new recordkeeping requirements, new job listing requirements, and new equal opportunity clause requirements. The Final Rules go into effect on March 24, 2014.
The OFCCP’s new FAQs clarify what contractors need to do to ensure compliance by March 24, 2014. Specifically, the FAQs state that OFCCP will allow contractors to delay compliance with the affirmative action plan (AAP) requirements of Subpart C of the regulations – including the newly required pre-offer self-identification elements – until their first AAP is due following the March 24, 2014 effective date. However, OFCCP “recommends” that all contractors begin complying with Subpart C prior to the issuance of their first AAP under the new rules, and “strongly encourages” contractors to do so “as soon as practicable” after the effective date.
The new FAQs also answer questions regarding revisions to the “EEO is the Law” poster; the format of the disability self-identification form and whether contractors may create an electronically fillable copy; and elements that the first AAP after the effective date should include.