The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today issued two final rules amending the Equal Employment Opportunity regulations in Title 41 CFR, Chapter 60. The OFCCP is a civil rights, worker protection agency that enforces Executive Order 11246, and two laws that prohibit employment discrimination and require affirmative action by companies doing business with the federal government: the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (codified at 29 USC 701 and following) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 USC 4211 and following).
The rules address affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations of contractors and subcontractors regarding individuals with disabilities and special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and armed forces service medal veterans. Both final rules go into effect in six months on March 24, 2014.
Individuals with disabilities: This rule implements the nondiscrimination and affirmative action regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which 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. This 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. To implement changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the final rule also adopts revisions to the definitions and to the nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations. The specific revisions made, and the rationale for making them, are set forth in the section-by-section analysis found in the rule’s supplementary information.
Veterans: This final rule implements the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002. The 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. The rule’s section-by-section analysis examines the specific revisions made and the rationale for making them.