OFCCP Self-ID Form: 5 Things Contractors Should Know

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As we previously reported, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in August adopted new rules intended to improve job opportunities for veterans and persons with disabilities.

Among the rules' requirements is that federal contractors invite applicants to self-identify as individuals with disabilities both before the contractor extends a job offer and after the contractor extends the offer but before the individual begins his or her job duties. (The second invitation is to obtain information from individuals who might otherwise fear that disclosure of a hidden disability would hurt their chances of getting the job.) The overall purpose of the rule is to collect data that will enable the OFCCP to monitor and evaluate the success of contractors' affirmative action plans.

In January, the OFCCP posted to its website the self-identification form that contractors must use. The form is available here. It explains why the contractor is extending the invitation and provides the definition of a disability, along with examples. The form asks for the person's name and gives him or her the option of one of three responses:

  • Yes, I have a disability (or previously had a disability)
  • No, I don't have a disability
  • I don't wish to answer

Here are five other things contractors should know about the new form and the self-identification rule:

  1. Contractors may use a form that applicants and employees can fill out electronically provided the electronic version displays the OMB number and expiration date, contains the exact text of the approved form, uses a sans-serif font and uses at least an 11-pitch font size.
  2. If the contractor has a practice of accepting unsolicited resumes regardless of current job openings, the OFCCP will permit the contractor to invite self-identification only of those considered for employment.
  3. If the applicant does not self-identify, contractors may themselves identify the individual as having a disability if (1) the disability is obvious (e.g., someone is blind or missing a limb), or (2) the contractor knows of the disability (e.g., because an individual says that he or she has a disability or requests accommodation for a disability).
  4. Contractors also must invite each of their employees to self-identify the first year the contractor is subject to the rule and at five-year intervals thereafter.  In addition, at least once during the years between these invitations, contractors must remind their employees that they may voluntarily update their disability status at any time.
  5. Contractors must keep disability demographic information confidential and maintain it in a data analysis file separate from the employee's personnel file.

The invitation to self-identify is just one of many requirements imposed by the OFCCP's extensive new affirmative action rules, which take effect March 24, 2014.