OFCCP Implements New Regulations, Requires Employers To Adopt Specific, Quantifiable Goals In Hiring Disabled And Military Veteran Applicants

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New regulations finalized by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the agency tasked with overseeing entities’ affirmative action plans and obligations, mandate that federal contractors and subcontractors adopt specific hiring goals for individuals with disabilities and for military veterans. The regulations, announced on August 27, require covered employers to: (a) establish a 7 percent goal for employing disabled individuals in each job group of their workforce (or, if the employer has less than 100 employees total, the goal applies to the entire workforce); and (b) establish a hiring goal for military veterans of 8 percent or “their own benchmark based on the best available data.”  These rules are meant to encourage federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified veterans and people with disabilities.  The rules also, however, muddy the water with respect to how impacted employers should comply with these rules while also complying with various provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which limits the questions employers should ask of applicants and employees.  Once the rules are published in the Federal Register, they will go into effect in 180 days after publication.

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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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