On March 24, 2014, new regulations for affirmative action requirements for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities from the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) took effect. The regulations apply to all businesses that have contracts with the federal government above certain dollar thresholds - some as low as $10,000. These new rules also apply to businesses that have subcontracts with prime federal contractors above the same dollar thresholds.
ABC's Challenge to the Regulations Denied
In November 2013, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ("ABC") filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the new regulations specifically with regard to federal construction contractors. On March 21, 2014, the Court rejected ABC's claim and found for the OFCCP on all points. Accordingly, the new regulations took effect as scheduled on March 24 for all federal contractors and subcontractors including those in the construction industry. A copy of the Court's decision can be found here.
What Has Changed?
The new regulations are a significant overhaul of the old regulations. For the first time, all federal contractors and subcontractors will have to collect data and perform analysis of the disability and veteran status of their applicants, new hires and employees. In addition, while the construction industry was previously exempt from much of the OFCCP's requirements due to the fluid and temporary nature of its workforce, under the new regulations, the construction industry is no longer exempt from the data collection, data analysis and goal setting requirements for disability and veteran status.
Specifically, the new regulations include the following significant new burdens for federal contractors and subcontractors including those in the construction industry:
A complete copy of the new regulations pertaining to veterans can be found here.
A complete copy of the new regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities can be found here.