July 25 and 26 are special days in the world of Affirmative Action?

July 25 is National Hire a Veteran Day! Sponsored by Hire Our Heroes, National Hire a Veteran Day ho...

Posted by Lauren Buerger, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant on July 20 2018
Lauren Buerger, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant
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Affirmative Action in JulyJuly 25 is National Hire a Veteran Day! Sponsored by Hire Our Heroes, National Hire a Veteran Day honors our servicemen and women as they enter the nonmilitary workforce. While federal contractors are encouraged to consider Veterans throughout the year, Hire Our Heroes is holding a virtual career fair on National Hire a Veteran Day for all Veterans trained in various skills.

Under VEVRAA, federal contractors are required to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, and promote categories of Veterans covered by the law. It forbids discrimination against protected Veterans when making employment decisions on hiring, firing, pay, benefits, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, and other employment-related activities. As of March 31, 2018, the hiring benchmark under VEVRAA is 6.4% of all new hires. Other obligations under VEVRAA include:

  • Listing their job openings with the appropriate state employment service agency
  • Inviting applicants to self-identify as protected Veterans at both the pre- and post-offer stages
  • Conducting targeted outreach and recruitment for protected Veterans and evaluating those efforts annually
  • Maintaining records on the requirements listed above for three years to spot trends

July 26 is the anniversary of when the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.

A disability, defined by the ADA, is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. While the ADA is a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, the EEOC was given enforcement authority for Title I, which prohibits discrimination in employment. The ADA was partly modeled after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment against Individuals with Disabilities.

Let Berkshire Prepare Your EEO-1 & VETs Reports

Under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, employers receiving federal funds are required to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain Individuals with Disabilities. Other obligations include:

  • Conducting an annual utilization analysis of the workforce against a 7% utilization goal—which is applied to each job group, or to the entire workforce if there are fewer than 100 employees
  • Assessing problem areas and establishing specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems
  • Inviting applicants to self-identify as an individual with a disability at both the pre- and post-offer stages
  • Inviting employees to self-identify as an individual with a disability at least every five years
  • Maintaining records on the requirements listed above for three years to spot trends

Berkshire’s audit support team ensures these areas of outreach are checked carefully in current OFCCP audits, and contractors are encouraged to track and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts during their plan years.

Lauren Buerger, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant
Lauren Buerger, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant
Lauren Buerger is an HR Consultant with over five years of experience at Berkshire. She specializes in helping federal contractors comply with affirmative action regulations and developing AAPs and educating clients.

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