OFCCP Launches New Disability and Veterans Community Resources Directory

by Karen Cunningham, SPHR

On the heels of newly effective Disability and Veteran regulations, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has launched a new recruitment directory to assist contractors with finding qualified individuals with disabilities and veterans. The OFCCP also states that the directory will assist contractors with establishing relationships with national organizations and local community groups that have access to these workers. You can access the directory by clicking here or by visiting the OFCCP’s website. This new resource supplements the agency’s existing Employment Resources Referral Directory (ERRD). A summary of the regulation changes that prompted the creation of this new directory is provided below.

On August 27, 2013, the OFCCP announced a Final Rule that makes changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503) at 41 CFR Part 60-741. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs) and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals. According to the OFCCP, the Final Rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire IWDs and improves job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Final Rule also makes changes to the nondiscrimination provisions of the regulations to bring them into compliance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

The OFCCP announced another Final Rule on August 27, 2013, that makes changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended (VEVRAA) at 41 CFR Part 60-300. VEVRAA prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these veterans. According to the OFCCP, the Final Rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire protected veterans and improve job opportunities for protected veterans.

The Final Rules for both regulation changes were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2013, and became effective on March 24, 2014. However, the OFCCP has stated that current contractors with a written affirmative action program (AAP) already in place on the effective date have additional time to come into compliance with the AAP requirements as the compliance structure seeks to provide contractors the opportunity to maintain their current AAP cycle.