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OutSolve's Latest Article Covers Recent OFCCP Webinar on New VEVRAA Regulations

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OutSolve's latest article reviews the latest OFCCP webinar on VEVRAA

On February 6th OFCCP conducted their latest webinar on managing the updated regulations that go into effect on march 24, 2014. Below you will find a summary of the article and a link to the extended piece.

Highlights of OFCCP's Webinar on the Components of a New VEVRAA AAP

Summary of Article. On February 6, 2014, the U. S. Department of Labor's ("DOL") Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") conducted the third webinar of its "Moving Toward Compliance" series of webinars. These sessions are being presented to assist Federal contractors in complying with the new agency regulations that become effective on March 24, 2014. The February 6 webinar, entitled "The Components of a New VEVRAA AAP" provided information on creating Affirmative Action Programs ("AAPs") compliant with the new Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 ("VEVRAA") regulations which the agency published on September 24, 2013, in the Federal Register.

The OFCCP presenters in this webinar explained the new VEVRAA requirements, as well as the agency's role in providing technical assistance and conducting compliance audits, through both the webinar and the slides used during the webinar. Both the webinar and the slides can be found on the agency's website at www.dol.ofccp.gov.

The objectives of the webinar were to enable Federal contractors to: 1) identify which sections of a VEVRAA AAP are new, revised, or retained without revision; 2) properly draft a VEVRAA AAP that is compliant with the new requirements; and 3) identify what is required in the first VEVRAA AAP after the effective date (the "transitional AAP").

Highlights of VEVRAA AAP Webinar. The webinar was conducted by Leo Lestino, OFCCP Regulatory Analyst; Ebony Ross, OFCCP Equal Opportunity Specialist; Naomi Levin, Branch Chief of Policy, OFCCP; Suzan Chastain, Counsel, Office of the Solicitor; and Keir Bickerstaffe, Senior Attorney, Office of the Solicitor:

The following is a summary of the highlights of the webinar:

* Definitional changes. There are general definitional changes reflected throughout the regulations, including the following: 1) 41 CFR § 60-300.2 provides clarity by defining the term "protected veteran" to describe any veteran in any veteran category who is protected by VEVRAA's nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions; and 2) designation of "protected" refers to all the individuals and groups of individuals who have rights under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 503"), and VEVRAA.

* Forms for self-auditing. The OFCCP included in its slides examples of charts a contractor can use for self-audits for outreach, recruitment, personnel decisions and other processes. The presenters stated these are not required forms, but are good examples of how to conduct and document a number of the contractor's required actions under the new VEVRAA regulations.

* Combined or separate Section 503 and VEVRAA AAPs? The webinar presenters said that while the OFCCP allows contractors to create one combined AAP for VEVRAA and Section 503, they recommended that two separate AAPs be created given the new statistical and other requirements of the two respective rules.

* Effectiveness of outreach efforts. The new VEVRAA regulations require contractors to identify and implement alternative outreach resources in the event that their overall efforts have not in their totality proven to have been effective.

* Creation of VEVRAA benchmarks. Contractors have the option of using the national benchmark or a benchmark created with five factors. If contractor uses the five-factor benchmark, it must apply all five factors, as well as explain its methodology. A contractor's benchmark should reflect the hiring it expects to conduct in the next year.

* No adverse impact ratio analysis on VEVRAA data. The webinar presenters stated that the OFCCP would not ordinarily conduct adverse impact ratio analyses on VEVRAA data as theUniform Guidelines On Employee Selection Procedures (the "Uniform Guidelines") do not apply to VEVRAA, just as they do not apply to Section 503.

* Recommended actions. The presenters said that although Subpart C, including the new statistical analysis and self-identification procedures, does not go into effect until the first AAP created after March 24, 2014, the agency urges contractors to start using these processes before they are legally required to do so. The OFCCP believes the early implementation of Subpart C will assist contractors in ensuring the new processes are done properly when the contractors are required to comply with the new regulations and will provide contractors with the opportunity to obtain technical assistance from the OFCCP should they have any questions.

* OFCCP's compliance reviews of the Transitional AAP. The webinar presenters explained, as they did in the January 16 Section 503 webinar, that the first VEVRAA AAP after March 24 will be called the "Transitional AAP." The agency recognizes that not all of the data will be included in the Transitional AAP as the contractors will not have all of the required data at that time they create this AAP. The webinar presenters stated the OFCCP will not cite a contractor for noncompliance for the Transitional VEVRAA AAP if the contractor has complied with its existing carryover requirements, and has shown some type of effort to come into compliance with the new requirements.

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