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OFCCP Announces Long-Anticipated Veterans and Disabilities Rules; AGC Resources Available Soon

September 11, 2013
On Aug. 27, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced two final rules that will expand the affirmative-action obligations of direct federal contractors and their subcontractors with regard to veterans and individuals with disabilities.  The rules update regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Both rules will be effective 180 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.  Publication is expected to occur within two weeks. The VEVRAA rule requires contractors to annually adopt a hiring benchmark either based on the national percentage of veterans in the workforce (currently 8 percent), or their own benchmark based on local and other data.  The Section 503 rule introduces a utilization goal for federal contractors and subcontractors that 7 percent of each job group in their workforce (i.e., EEO-1 report job groups) are qualified individuals with disabilities. Both rules require contractors to offer applicants the opportunity to self-identify as a protected veteran pre- and post-offer, to collect and maintain five new data points on veteran and disabled applicants and hires, and to abide by expanded recordkeeping requirements, among other things. AGC is currently conducting a full analysis of the rules and will provide more detailed information soon.  To help contractors comply, AGC is updating its Affirmative Action Manual for Construction and will host a webinar detailing the complete requirements and impact of these rules on the construction industry.  Details will be announced soon. In addition, AGC has added a session on the new rules at the 2013 Construction HR & Training Professionals Conference that will provide an overview of the requirements.  The conference will be held October 16-17, in Chicago, Ill.  For more information or to register, visit www.agc.org/trainingHRconference.
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