On March 24, 2014 the long awaited changes for Veterans (Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act, VEVRAA of 1974 as amended) and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended) took effect. For federal affirmative action contractors and subcontractors the changes mean many things. In particular now, these employers will collect pre and post voluntary self-identification information on applicants, hires and employees as to whether they are a Protected Veteran or an Individual with a Disability. This information will allow employers to evaluate whether their outreach and recruitment activities are appropriate to meet a 7.2% Protected Veterans hiring benchmark or a 7% workforce utilization goal by job grouping for Individuals with Disabilities. The regulations also mean that there will be notices and letters informing applicants, hires, employees, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and unions about the changes and requesting their help in accomplishing the objectives. In the future, covered contractors and subcontractors will report and compile information on these two protected groups of applicants, hires and employees in a manner similarly done for women and minorities today.
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