Until recently, OFCCP focused almost exclusively on enforcing its regulations regarding minorities and females. However, in the last two years, the two other groups protected under OFCCP’s regulations, veterans and persons with disabilities, have received significant attention from OFCCP. This new emphasis culminated during 2011 in proposed revisions to the regulations regarding veterans and proposed revisions to the regulations regarding persons with disabilities.
Listing with the State Employment Service
While neither set of proposed regulatory changes has been issued in final form as of January 2012, during affirmative action compliance reviews OFCCP has been asking for more data and more documentation of actions taken on behalf of veterans and persons with disabilities. One critical action that federal contractors and subcontractors must take is to list open positions with the local state employment service (SES) office. This is an absolute requirement under the veterans regulations. The listing with the SES office must occur at least concurrently with the use of other recruitment sources. During a compliance review, OFCCP is now routinely asking for documentation both from the SES offices AND from the company. In fact, in recent reviews, OFCCP has at times asked for screen shots showing that positions transmitted to an SES office were listed on an SES website.
The only types of positions that are exempt from this listing with the SES office are as follows:
- Executive and senior management positions (as defined in the federal regulations)
- Positions lasting three days or less
- Positions that will be filled from within the company
Contacts to Organizations Serving Veterans
OFCCP has also taken the position that the listing with the SES office is necessary but not sufficient to demonstrate a company’s interest in recruiting veterans. OFCCP expects that companies are contacting other organizations that work directly with veterans seeking employment, and that companies are building direct relationships with these organizations. During recent compliance reviews, OFCCP has not been satisfied when all a company has done is post positions on one or two websites that serve veterans.
OFCCP also expects that companies have documentation of the efforts made to recruit veterans. This would include copies of e-mails sent to organizations that work with veterans, records of conversations with these organizations, and screen shots or other proof that positions were actually posted on websites serving veterans.
Under OFCCP’s proposed changes to the regulations regarding veterans, federal contractors and subcontractors would be required to enter into linkage agreements with organizations serving veterans seeking employment. While employers are not currently required to enter into these linkage agreements, the proposed regulations provide examples of organizations that companies can use for recruiting purposes. Among these organizations are the following:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs
- The Department of Defense Transition Assistance program
- Organizations that are part of the National Resource Directory (www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov)
Actions to Take
Federal contractors and subcontractors would be well-served by taking specific actions to recruit and employ veterans. At a minimum, companies should do the following:
- Contact the state employment service when there are openings
- Develop relationships with organizations serving veterans seeking employment
- Document actions taken to recruit veterans
- Analyze data to determine whether veterans are actually being hired
Did You Know...that only certain types of veterans are covered by OFCCP’s affirmative action regulations? The four classes of veterans covered are disabled veterans, veterans who are within three years of leaving military service, armed forces service medal veterans, and active wartime/campaign badge veterans.
For more information on OFCCP’s affirmative action regulations concerning veterans, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.