OFCCP Focuses on Veterans and Persons with Disabilities

During the last two years, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has given extensive attention to issues concerning veterans and persons with disabilities. This was a major change for the agency, as OFCCP had spent the prior ten or fifteen years focusing on issues concerning minorities and women. During recent affirmative action compliance reviews, OFCCP has routinely asked for the following information:

  • • A list of recruitment sources used to find veterans and persons with disabilities
  • • Documentation of specific outreach efforts made to find veterans and persons with disabilities
  • • A list of employees in the workforce who fall into one of the four classes of veterans protected under OFCCP’s regulations – disabled veterans, Armed Forces Service Medal veterans, recently separated veterans, and “Other Protected” (i.e. campaign badge) veterans
  • • A list of employees in the workforce who have disabilities
  • • A list of accommodations provided to employees with disabilities
  • • A copy of any policy regarding family and medical leave
  • • A copy of any policy regarding military leave
  • • Copies of any grievances or complaints involving disability, reasonable accommodation, or veteran status
  • • Three years of VETS-100 and/or VETS-100A reports
  • • Documentation regarding the jobs that were listed with the state employment service

When OFCCP has come on-site during recent reviews, the agency typically asks to interview employees who are veterans and persons with disabilities.

OFCCP’s approach to issues regarding veterans and persons with disabilities reflects both the agency’s rekindled interest in affirmative action and its current enforcement posture. For example, OFCCP expects companies to make outreach efforts AND to have documentation showing that specific efforts were made to find veterans and persons with disabilities for each open position. As another example, OCCP expects that companies have listed all openings with an office of the relevant State Employment Service (SES) AND that companies have documentation proving that openings were listed.

During compliance reviews, companies are routinely being cited for failing to list jobs with an SES office or for failing to demonstrate that these listings have occurred. Companies are required to list ALL openings with the SES except for those openings that are filled internally, that last for three days or less, or that involve senior management. Thus, positions submitted to headhunters, searches for sales employees and others expected to work from a remote location, and other types of positions that companies frequently did not list need to be sent to an SES office.

While the current situation with regard to veterans and persons with disabilities is daunting, future compliance reviews may be even more complicated if OFCCP’s proposed revisions to its veterans regulations are adopted.

Did you know . . . that almost all federal contractors and subcontractors should be filing the VETS-100A report instead of the VETS-100? The VETS-100 is required when a company has UNMODIFIED contracts from December 2003 or earlier. Contracts from December 2003 or earlier that are still in effect have almost certainly been modified. Recent reports suggest that the federal government itself has been unable to identify any unmodified contracts from December 2003 or earlier. Thus, companies should be filing the VETS-100A and not the VETS-100 report.

For more information on OFCCP’s current approach to issues concerning veterans and persons with disabilities or for more information on OFCCP’s proposed regulations for veterans, please contact me at wosterndorf@hranalytical.com