On Aug. 1, 2012, the Center for Corporate Equality (CCE), a national nonprofit research organization, released the results of an AGC co-sponsored study of data related to the enforcement of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces both of those laws and has recently proposed significant changes to their implementing regulations. CCE’s report concludes that “discrimination against protected veterans and individuals with disabilities, especially with regard to hiring, is not a frequent finding by OFCCP and may not support the major shift in policy that the proposed regulations would necessitate.”
According to the report, between September 2004 and June 2012, OFCCP received and investigated 1,124 veteran and disability-related complaints. Ninety-five percent of those investigations concluded “without a finding of discrimination.” Similarly, between 2007 and 2011, OFCCP conducted 22,104 routine compliance evaluations that resulted in only three findings of alleged discrimination, or approximately 0.014 percent of all reviews. Of the violations that were found, the report shares that the “vast majority” were technical violations, such as a failure to keep required records, as opposed to violations indicating systemic discrimination, such as in hiring. CCE noted that data were not available from 2004-2006, but it has requested the data from OFCCP.
OFCCP’s proposed rules would increase the affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations of federal contractors with regard to veterans and individuals. For example, for the first time, companies would be required to establish numerical hiring benchmarks for veterans and set a 7 percent utilization goal for disabled workers. In addition, each rule would require new data collection, recordkeeping, job listing and outreach by contractors.
In a letter to OFCCP and the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, AGC shared the results of the study and asked that they are considered during the rulemaking process.
For more information on the individuals with disabilities proposed rule, click here. For more information on the veterans proposed rule, click here.