Posts

OFCCP Recruitment Resources Update

If your organization is subject to Affirmative Action, you’ve likely read much lately about the new Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act and Section 503 updates that went into effect as of March 24, 2014. If you aren’t familiar with these updates and how they affect your organization, learn more by downloading our Revised VEVRAA & Section 503 Guide: A Veteran & Disability Regulation Implementation Checklist.

Federal Contractor Hiring Resources

Notwithstanding the additional reporting requirements that come along with these updates, one of the other concerns for companies required to comply has been how best to diversity their sourcing methods to target veterans and those with disabilities.

This past week, the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) released an updated list of groups and resources available throughout the country who offer assistance in recruiting the veteran and disabled population segments. This list is free to anyone and lists these resources by state, city and EEO job categories you might be filling. You may view and/or download a copy of this list here.

Hiring Benchmark Changes

Also this past week, the OFCCP announced a revision to the hiring benchmark for veterans. This level was initially established at 8%, but was dropped to 7.2% for those organizations using the Agency’s national average approach. The option for organizations to establish their own average remains, and either approach is applied across the total workforce for an organization, not for any specific job groups. To learn more about this change, visit www.dol-esa.gov/errd/VEVRAA.jsp.

This landscape has changed measurably in the last few months, and many experts anticipate continued changes going forward. Check with your affirmative action consultant or labor/employment attorney to make sure you are compliant and meeting these required targets. We will continue to keep you and our clients informed as other changes are announced.

To learn more about OFCCP recruitment resources and how ExactHire can help automate the collection and reporting of your Affirmative Action information, please visit our resources section or contact us today.

Image credit: Megaphon by floeschie (contact)

How is Your Business Affected by the VEVRAA & Section 503 Updates?

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:

The Revised VEVRAA & Section 503 Regulation Guide

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.

Federal Contractors: 2 New Compliance Rules You Must Know Now

If you are a federal contractor or subcontractor, you’re (hopefully) very familiar with Affirmative Action compliance and reporting. In addition to those requirements, last week the OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs – part of the Department of Labor) announced two new rules for federal contractors regarding the hiring of veterans and individuals with disabilities. While these haven’t yet been formally put into effect, they appear to be imminent and should go into effect 180 days after they are published in the Federal Register. These rules are summarized below and additional detail can be found on the DOL website.

Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) – Final Rule

This rule requires contractors to establish an annual hiring benchmark, either based on the national percentage of veterans in the workforce (currently 8%), or based on the best available data and factors unique to their establishments. Federal contractors must then demonstrate that their hiring efforts are trending toward these benchmarks.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act – Final Rule

This rule also establishes an annual hiring benchmark, based on a 7% utilization goal for the employment of individuals with disabilities. Federal contractors (as with VEVRAA) must then demonstrate that their hiring efforts are trending toward these benchmarks.

According to figures used to help craft these new regulations, unemployment for both of these classes of workers is disproportionately high, compared to the nation at large. Unemployment for veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is higher than the rate for all veterans and non-veterans, while the national unemployment rate for people (of employment age) with disabilities is 15%. In contrast, unemployment nationally is around 8%.

The rules will be published shortly in the Federal Register and will take effect 180 days later. If you’d like more information in the interim, you may access both rules on the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/VEVRAARule/ and http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503Rule/.

The stated goal of both programs is “to put a greater emphasis on measuring federal contractors’ progress toward achieving equal opportunity for people with disabilities and protected veterans.”

However, what this also means to federal contractors is additional tracking and reporting of this data for compliance purposes. While these rules are being finalized and the reporting requirements aren’t yet completely clear, this is something that ExactHire will continue to explore as it relates to applicant tracking software. As a result, we’ll keep you posted in the next few weeks with additional information on what this means to you, and (for our clients) what changes will be made in our solution to assist in those compliance efforts.

If you’d like more information on how ExactHire helps with Affirmative Action and applicant flow log reporting, please contact us.