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Section 4212 (Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act -VEVRAA) of 1974 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act

On March 24, 2014, the Department of Labor released revisions to the final rules updating Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and 4212 (VEVRAA). The rules were implemented to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities and protected veterans.  Both of these rules provide metrics to measure federal contractor’s progress toward achieving equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities and protected veterans.  To assist you in the implementation of the revised rules, we have prepared a Compliance Contractor Checklist.

The following chart highlights the significant requirements of each regulation; however, is not all inclusive. 

  Section 503 (Rehabilitation Act)
 
Section 4212 (VEVRAA)
Contract Amount/Coverage Single contract > $15,000 (non-aggregated) for the purchase, sale or use of personal property or non-personal services Single contract > $150,000 (non-aggregated) for the purchase, sale or use of personal property or non-personal services
Definitions     Adopts ADAAA definition:
• A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities.  An impairment does not need to prevent or severely restrict a major life activity to be considered “substantially limiting.” An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.  With the exception of eyeglasses or contact lenses the determination of “substantially limiting” should be made without regard to the ameliorative efforts of mitigating measures, such as medication, medical equipment, prosthetics, hearing aids, mobility devices, oxygen therapy, etc.
• A record (or past history) of such an impairment
• Being regarding as having a disability.
• “Disabled Veteran includes any veterans of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who: (1) is entitled to compensation or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation under laws administered by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, or (b) was discharged or releases from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
• “Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veteran” includes any veteran who served on activity duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service in a war, campaign or expedition in which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
• “Recently Separately Veteran” includes any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service.
“Armed Forces Services Medal Veteran: includes any veteran who, while serving on activity duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a U.S. military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to E.O. 12985.
AAP Development More than 50 employees and $50,000 in contracts More than 50 employees and $150,000 in contracts
Policy Statement Must indicate that the U.S. top executive supports the affirmative action program. Same as Section 503
EO Clause Providing Notices to Applicants and Employees – notice should read “to employ and advance in employment individuals with disabilities, and to treat qualified individuals without discrimination on the basis of their physical or mental disability.” Notice of rights of applicants and employees must be posted in conspicuous places that are accessible to persons with disabilities. Copies should be made available in Braille, large print, or other accessible format, rather than having the notice read to a person with a disability.

The EO clause must be included in bold text in every subcontract or purchase order of $10,000 or more.  The clause shoulnclude the following sentences in bold text.


This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR §§ 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a), 60-741.5(a), Executive Order 13496 (29 CFR Part 471, Appendix to Subpart A) and Executive Order 13655. These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status or disability."
Mandatory Job Listing - Most list all job openings, below the executive level, that remain open for more than three days, and are not filled from within with the state workforce agency or local employment service delivery system (ESDS) in the state where the opening occurs.

Providing Notices to Applicants and Employees – same as Section 503

The EO clause - same as Section 503
Reasonable Accommodations The three areas in which reasonable accommodations may be necessary: (1) accommodations in the application process; (2) accommodations that enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position; and (3) accommodations that enable employees with disabilities to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by employees without disabilities. Same as Section 503
Invitation to Self-Identify • Pre- and post-offer stages – request self-identification of a person with a disability, using the mandatory OFCCP form (to be released)
• Ongoing surveys for IWD – must survey all employees the 1st year; every 5 years, plus contractors must send out an interim reminder of the employee’s ability to change their status to an IWD.
• Invitation can be made at the same time race/gender is requested
• Invitation to self-identify must state that the contractor is a federal contractor required to take affirmative action on behalf of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
• Invitation should offer the applicant the opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation.
• Contractor may identify IWDs who do not self-identify when the disability is obvious or known.
• Self-identification forms must be kept confidential – not in the data analysis, personnel or medical file.
• Pre-offer and post-offer stage – request self-identification as a protected veteran only
• Invitation can be made at the same time race/gender is requested
• Invitation to self-identify must state that the contractor is a federal contractor required to take affirmative action on behalf of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.
• Invitation should offer the applicant the opportunity to request a reasonable accommodation.
• Self-identification forms must be kept confidential – not in the data analysis, personnel or medical file.
Data Collection Contractors must document and update annually by AAP establishment the:
• Number of applicants for all jobs
• Number of known individuals with disabilities
• Number of job openings and number of jobs filled
• Number of total applicants hired
• Number of individuals with disabilities hired
The data must be retained for three (3) years. The Preamble says that OFCCP will not conduct Impact Ratio Analyses (Adverse Impact) and that enforcement actions will not be brought solely on the basis of statistical disparities.
Contractors must document and update annually by AAP establishment the:
• Number of applicants for all jobs
• Number of protected veteran applicants
• Number of job openings and number of jobs filled
• Number of total applicants hired
• Number of protected veterans hired
The data must be retained for three (3) years. The Preamble says that OFCCP will not conduct Impact Ratio Analyses (Adverse Impact) and that enforcement actions will not be brought solely on the basis of statistical disparities.
Utilization Goals (for Individuals with Disabilities)) and Benchmarks for Hiring (Veterans) Seven percent (7%) national utilization goal for employment of qualified employees with disabilities in each job group.  OFCCP will review and update the7% utilization goal periodically.  Requires an annual utilization analysis where the contractor compares the representation of employees with disabilities in each job group in its workforce to the 7% utilization goal. Contractors with 100 or fewer employees may apply the goal to the entire workforce.
Failing to meet the utilization goal will not lead to any penalties (e.g. debarment); however, failing to conduct an assessment of the outreach efforts and benchmark achievements could lead to a violation.  Records pertaining to the benchmark must be retained for three (3) years.
Quantifiable method to measure progress towards achieving equal employment opportunities for protected veterans.
Benchmark Setting Options – benchmarks can be applied to job groups, EEO-1 categories or to the whole workforce.
• 7% national average of veterans in the labor force; or
• Determine goal utilizing the five-factor option.
o The average percentage of veterans in the labor force in the State(s) where the contractor is located the preceding three years;
o The number of veterans, over the previous four quarters who were participants in the employment service delivery system in the State(s) where the contractor is located;
o The applicant ratio and hiring ratio for the previous year;
o The contractor’s recent assessments of the effectiveness of its external outreach and recruitment efforts; and
o Any other factors, including, but not limited to the nature of the contractor’s job openings and/or locations, that would affect the availability of qualified protected veterans.
Failing to meet the benchmark will not lead to any penalties (e.g. debarment); however, failing to conduct an assessment of the outreach efforts and benchmark achievements could lead to a violation.  Records pertaining to the benchmark must be retained for three (3) years.
Reocrdkeeping Contractors must keep employment records for two (2) years from the date of the action. Permits contractors with fewer than 150 employees or a contract of less than $150,000 to keep such records for one (1) year.  Extends to three (3) recordkeeping requirement for the following records:
• Documentation and assessment of external outreach and recruitment efforts
• New data collection analysis requirement
• Records relating to the benchmark 
Contractors must keep employment records for two (2) years from the date of the action. Permits contractors with fewer than 150 employees or a contract of less than $150,000 to keep such records for one (1) year.  Extends to three (3) recordkeeping requirement for the following records:
• Documentation and assessment of external outreach and recruitment efforts
• New data collection analysis requirement
• Records relating to the benchmark 

If you are a contractor or a subcontractor with job openings in one state, you may list job openings with your One Stop Service Center or Workforce Development Office.  To find a center nearest you, you may contact your state’s Director of Veterans’ Employment and Training (DVET).  A directory of State DVET office can be found at http://www.dol.gov/vets/aboutvets/contacts/main.htm . Information about the One Stop Service Centers can be found at http://www.careeronestop.org/ .
 

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