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OFCCP Adds New FAQs to Address Questions about Definition of a Protected Veteran

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Questions arose after Infographic was posted online

A few months back OFCCP posted a visual aid to help contractors understand the definition of a Protected Veteran. However, the visual aid known as an infographic caused a stir when it seemed to be making a change to the definition. As a result, OFCCP has posted new responses in the Frequently Asked Questions page clarifying that the definition is not changing but that that how the definition is interpreted may need another look.

See link and responses below:

http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/faqs/VEVRAA_faq.htm#Q24a

  1. Does the infographic change the definition of "protected veteran" as defined in VEVRAA?

No. The definition of "protected veteran" is established in the statute and cannot be changed by OFCCP. A veteran is a "protected veteran" under VEVRAA if he or she falls into one or more of the following categories: disabled veteran; recently separated veteran; active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran; or Armed Forces service medal veteran. The infographic does not change these categories. Rather, it clarifies which veterans are included in each category of protected veteran so that veterans will be able to determine, as a practical matter, whether they are protected by VEVRAA.

  1. The infographic’s description of an "active duty wartime" veteran is broader than what many previously understood. How did OFCCP determine the scope of this category of protected veteran?

The statute and regulations define an "active duty wartime" veteran as a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military during a war. Title 38, the title of federal statutes where VEVRAA is located, defines "period of war" as including World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Persian Gulf War, which is defined as August 2, 1990, to the present. Therefore, a veteran who served on active duty during any of those periods (and was not dishonorably discharged) is an "active duty wartime" veteran under VEVRAA. This is the same approach taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which administers most of the provisions in Title 38, when determining eligibility for various veteran benefits. See, for example, http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/wartimeperiod.asp, listing the wartime periods eligible for VA pension benefits.

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