By Carol L. O’Riordan
In our last post, we discussed new Labor Department regulations that encourage the hiring and promotion of Vietnam-era and other veterans.
In addition to the issues discussed in that post, it’s noteworthy that the new regulations mandate yearly documentation of contractor efforts to recruit and hire protected veterans. A contractor is required to complete quantitative comparisons of the number of protected veterans who apply for jobs and the number actually hired. The data must be maintained for three years. The contractor must ensure that the policy is disseminated to its employees and included in its employee communications.
The rule suggests a number of ways in which contractors can improve outreach and recruitment to veterans. These activities include enlisting the assistance of local representatives of the employment service office, the VA Regional Office, and national veterans’ groups, posting job openings on the Veterans Job Bank, participating in VA-sponsored work-study programs, and holding career day events.
Contractors are required to initiate a voluntary self-identification program for applicants. Applicants will be invited to self-identify as a protected veteran during the application process and after receipt of a job offer. Contractors must maintain the self-identification data, which may be utilized in their assessments of employment practices. It is suggested, but not required, that contractors consider known protected veterans for all available positions for which they may be qualified.
The rule also provides specific language for use by prime contractors when incorporating the equal employment clause in their subcontracts. The idea is to increase subcontractor awareness of and compliance with the revisions to the regulations. Contractors must also send written notification of company affirmative action policy and efforts to all subcontractors, vendors, and suppliers, with a request for appropriate action.
The OFCCP may initiate a review of contractor data and documents to ensure the contractor is taking affirmative action to employ, advance in employment, and otherwise treat qualified protected veterans without discrimination in all employment practices. OFCCP may request copies of contractor data and information regarding all formats in which the records are maintained. Contractors must comply with OFCCP requests and permit OFCCP to perform a compliance check or focused review, either on site or off site.
Because of the Labor Department’s increased emphasis on hiring Vietnam-era and other veterans, contractors are well advised to keep these requirements in mind and to consult legal counsel when appropriate to help them comply.
This is the second of two related posts.