New Affirmative Action Rules for Federal Contractors

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On August 27, the U.S. Department of Labor announced two significant final rules governing affirmative action. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) administers affirmative action requirements that federal contractors must follow. Nearly two years in the making, these new rules expand affirmative action obligations regarding disabled workers and Vietnam veterans.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against disabled individuals and requires affirmative efforts to recruit, hire, promote, and retain disabled workers. The new final rule implements a 7% nationwide utilization goal for disabled individuals. Going forward, federal contractors must use this goal in analyzing their affirmative action plan statistics, goals, and accomplishments. The rule also requires expanded data collection, pre-offer and post-offer invitations to self-identify, incorporation of mandated language into subcontracts, and production of records in a form most convenient for the OFCCP.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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