#OFCCP Announces #Final Rules to Improve Job Opportunities for #Individuals #with #Disabilities
Today, August 27, 2013, the #U.S. #Department #of #Labor’s #Office #of #Federal #Contract #Compliance #Programs announced a Final Rule that makes changes to the regulations implementing #Section #503 of the #Rehabilitation #Act #of #1973, as amended. As you are well aware, Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from #discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs), and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.
The Final Rule will be published in the #Federal #Register shortly and is effective 180 days after its publication. Highlights of the Final Rule are as follows:
- Utilization goal: The Final Rule establishes a nationwide 7% utilization goal for qualified IWDs. Contractors will apply the goal to each of their job groups, or to their entire workforce if the contractor has 100 or fewer employees. Contractors must conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems.
- Data collection: The Final Rule requires that contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of IWDs who apply for jobs and the number of IWDs they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. The data must be maintained for three years to be used to spot trends.
- Invitation to Self-Identify: The Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as IWDs at both the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process, using language prescribed by OFCCP. The Final Rule also requires that contractors invite their employees to self-identify as IWDs every five years, using the prescribed language. This language will be posted on the OFCCP website (coming soon).
- Incorporation of the EO Clause: The Final Rule requires that specific language be used when incorporating the equal opportunity clause into a subcontract by reference. The mandated language, though brief, will alert subcontractors to their responsibilities as Federal contractors.
- Records Access: The Final Rule clarifies that contractors must allow OFCCP to review documents related to a compliance check or focused review, either on-site or off-site, at OFCCP’s option. In addition, the Final Rule requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.
- ADAAA: The Final Rule implements changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 by revising the definition of "disability" and certain nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations.
These new rules are groundbreaking and at the same time, may be overwhelming for many companies. Contact Springboard today to schedule a phone meeting with Nadine Vogel to either begin to plan your strategy or execute on the strategy you may already have in mind. Remember, you will only have 180 days post Federal Register publication, to comply. Call Belinda Moore at 973-813-7260 x109 or email her at Belinda@consultspringboard.com to schedule your 503 strategy call right away.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.