The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released the revised Voluntary Self-Identification Form CC-305. All federal contractors will be required to use this form in inviting applicants and employees to provide information regarding their disability status.
The new form is the latest development related to the OFCCP’s new affirmative action regulations concerning veterans and individuals with disabilities, which take effect on March 24, 2014. In light of this fast-approaching date, contractors should develop procedures for distributing the new form to applicants and employees, collecting and analyzing information from it, and retaining copies of completed forms.
When must the new form be used?
The OFCCP’s new regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act require contractors to invite applicants and employees to identify themselves as individuals with disabilities. Applicants must be invited to do so upon application through a form that is separate from the application form (although it may be included with the application). Once an employment offer has been made, but before the applicant begins his or her job duties, the contractor again must invite the individual to self-identify. In addition, employees must be invited to self-identify during the first year the contractor becomes subject to the rules and at five-year intervals thereafter. Employees also must be reminded at least one time during the intervening years that they may update their status.
What does the new form do?
The form is broken into four distinct sections. The first section informs applicants and employees that they are being asked to identify their disability status voluntarily in keeping with the employer’s obligations as a federal contractor, states that the information disclosed will not be used against the applicant or employee, and confirms that an employee may voluntarily self-identify at a later date without fear of punishment. The second section provides a definition of “disability” and lists potential conditions that could qualify. The third section asks an applicant or employee to sign his or her name after providing one of the following answers:
Currently has (or previously had) a disability
Does not have a disability
Does not wish to answer
Finally, the fourth section notifies applicants and employees that federal law requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, invites an applicant or employee to notify if he or she requires a reasonable accommodation, and provides some examples of accommodations that may be available.
Federal contractors must use the OFCCP’s form in inviting applicants and employees to self-identify, and may not alter or substitute any language on the form. The form may be converted into electronic format, which applicants or employees can then complete and sign electronically, but only if the following requirements are met:
The Control Number and expiration date are displayed on the form.
The text of the form is not altered.
The form is presented in a sans-serif font.
All text is printed in at least 11-point font (or 10-point font for the footnote and burden statement)