Organizations affected by Affirmative Action mandates have known (or should have known) for years what requirements must be met in order to comply with OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance) regulations. For the most part, those rules/requirements have been fairly static for some time.
However, in the fall of 2013, two significant updates to compliance were added with VEVRAA and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. With those changes, if you are required to comply with Affirmative Action guidelines, that world is changing in a major way. In fact, here are 5 questions you may be asking in order to determine what specific impact these updates may have on your organization.
What is VEVRAA?
This is an acronym for Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. The primary purpose of this legislation is to encourage organizations doing business with the federal government to employ veterans who fall into the categories of “Disabled Veteran,” “Recently Separated Veteran,” “Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veteran,” or “Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran.” This is done by establishing hiring benchmarks and outreach goals for a federal contractor to demonstrate documented efforts toward employing these types of veterans.
What is Section 503?
This is a portion of the Rehabilitation Act that was modified to encourage organizations doing business with the federal government to employ individuals with disabilities. Much like VEVRAA referenced above, this is done by establishing utilization goals by different job groups equal to the national percentage of individuals with disabilities in the civilian workforce.
Does it affect my organization?
If you are subject to Affirmative Action as a result of federal contractor (or subcontractor in some cases) status, the answer likely is “yes.” While you’ll want to confirm this with your affirmative action plan consultant or labor/employment attorney, the reality is that you’ll likely need to get up to speed on this very quickly.
What does it mean for my company?
In simplest terms, more record-keeping and tracking for your business. In addition to the standard affirmative action tracking that organizations have done to this point, it will now be critical to ensure that employment applications or pre-offer self-identification forms are updated to reflect these changes and that the appropriate data is gathered. In addition, the responses from job applicants for these additional information pieces will have to be tracked and provided for reporting purposes. Finally, there are additional requirements and suggestions regarding the dissemination of job openings, communicating a policy of outreach for these special classes of applicants, etc.
When does this take effect?
Organizations whose affirmative action plan periods begin on or after 3/24/14 must have these procedures in place as of that date. For organizations whose plans renewed prior to March 24, 2014, they are required to meet these new requirements with their next renewal date.
As you can imagine there is much more to this than the brief information shared here. If you’d like to learn more about these regulations and how you can prepare for them, please download our free resource:
It is a collaboration between Affirmative Action consultancy, Precision Planning, and ExactHire. It reveals more information about how to prepare for these regulations so that your organization is compliant. It is available for free in PDF format.