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OFCCP Publishes Revised Regulations Implementing Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors Regarding (1) Individuals With Disabilities and (2) Veterans
Sep 24, 2013

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has published revisions to the current regulations implementing the non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Section 503 prohibits discrimination by covered Federal contractors and subcontractors against individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action on behalf of qualified individuals with disabilities.

The final rule adopts several key revisions proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions by, among other things, requiring data collection pertaining to applicants and hires with disabilities, and establishing a utilization goal for individuals with disabilities to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the contractor's affirmative action efforts. However, some of the NPRM's proposals, particularly with regard to the creation and maintenance of certain records and the conduct of certain affirmative action obligations, have been eliminated or made more flexible in order to reduce the compliance burden on contractors. To implement changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, the final rule also adopts revisions to the definitions and to the nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations.

These regulations are effective March 24, 2014. The specific revisions made, and the rationale for making them, are set forth in the Section-by-Section Analysis.

OFCCP has also published revisions to the current implementing regulations of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002, (VEVRAA). OFCCP is responsible for enforcement of VEVRAA, which prohibits employment discrimination against protected veterans by covered Federal contractors and subcontractors. VEVRAA also requires each covered Federal contractor and subcontractor to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment these veterans.

The final rule strengthens several provisions that are intended to aid in recruitment and hiring efforts, such as clarifying the mandatory job listing requirements, requiring data collection pertaining to protected veteran applicants and hires, and establishing hiring benchmarks to assist in measuring the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts. However, some of the proposals set forth in the NPRM, particularly with regard to the creation and maintenance of certain records and specific mandated affirmative action obligations, have been eliminated or made more flexible in order to reduce the time and cost burden on contractors. These regulations are effective March 24, 2014. The specific revisions made, and the rationale for making them, are set forth in the Section-by-Section Analysis