New rules issued by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) become effective on March 24, 2014. The new rules make significant changes to federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ obligations under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503). Covered federal contractors and subcontractors should be prepared to implement new practices by March 24, including the following:

  • Send notice to subcontractors and vendors of company policy related to affirmative action efforts.
  • List job openings with the appropriate employment service delivery system (ESDS) and send specific additional information to ESDS. The additional information includes: (1) notice that the company is a federal contractor subject to VEVRAA; (2) a statement that the contractor desires “priority referrals” of protected veterans; (3) the name and location of each hiring location in the state; and (4) contact information for the hiring officer at each location, including the identity of any external job search organizations used.
  • Post notice of the contractor’s affirmative action obligations and notice of rights for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. An electronic notice must be used if the contractor uses an electronic application process.
  • Update advertising taglines to denote the contractor’s commitment to equal employment opportunity (EEO) and affirmative action for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities, e.g.: “EEO Employer/Disabled/Vet.”
  • Incorporate new EEO clauses from VEVRAA and Section 503 into all covered federal subcontracts. Contractors may still incorporate EEO clauses by reference, but should use bold text and OFCCP- prescribed language when doing so.
  • Review recordkeeping policies to ensure that all records are retained for the appropriate period. For most contractors, records must be maintained for two years. Records related to self-assessments and quantitative measurements of progress toward goals must be kept for three years. This means that contractors should keep documents related to the number and types of outreach and recruitment events, the targeted group(s) or types of participants, when and where the events occurred, and who conducted and participated in the outreach and recruitment efforts on behalf of the contractor, for three years. Other documents may still be retained for only two years.

Contractors with affirmative action programs (AAPs) in place on March 24 do not have to immediately update their AAPs or implement some requirements contained in subpart C of the new regulations. Contractors can choose to keep their current AAPs in place until the end of their AAP year and begin complying with the new regulations at the start of the next AAP year. A description of the key requirements of subpart C can be found in our October 2013 Executive Briefing. Specific analysis of the OFCCP’s voluntary self-identification requirements for individuals with disabilities can be found in our February 2014 Executive Briefing.

The full text of the final rules for veterans and the final rules for individuals with disabilities is available at:

VEVRAA:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/24/2013- 21227/affirmative-action-and-nondiscrimination-obligations- of-contractors-and-subcontractors-regarding#h-62

Section 503: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/24/2013- 21228/affirmative-action-and-nondiscrimination-obligations- of-contractors-and-subcontractors-regarding#h-21