We just finished hearing from OFCCP in the second of two webinars on the Agency’s newly released Veterans and Disability regulations. In both presentations OFCCP walked through a general background of the regulations and highlighted some of the significant changes and/or additions to the rules. The Agency called the regulations “a more tailored and stream-lined approach that focus on contractor accountability.”
Director Shiu called in briefly during both presentations to make a few comments. She notably stated in both sessions that the Agency did not have the expectation of contractors meeting the new benchmarks and goals in the first year, acknowleding in today’s webinar that “change doesn’t happen in a moment, it happens in a movement.”
With respect to the new “data collection” obligations under the regulations, OFCCP reported one of the intended purposes of the requirements is to have the contractor community “fill a data gap” that currently exists for the veteran and disabled individual populations.
Other nuggets of interest include the emphasis placed in both presentations that neither the VEVRAA or Secton 503 regulations “adopt the internet applicant rule” but instead were developed to “be consistent” with application of the rule, as well as well as the Agency’s clear intent to solidify it’s position on (and authority to) request information beyond the date of the scheduling letter.
OFCCP momentarily discussed in the context of the Section 503 regulations (and not at all during the presentation yeterday on the Vets regulations) the Agency’s decision to drop the requirement that contractor’s enter into specific “linkage agreements” with recruitment sources. This was one of the proposed requirements that recieved significant feedback during the NPRM process. In explaining its rationale for doing so the Agency said it wanted the contractor community to have the “flexibility” to engage in recruitment of thier own choosing and to analyze the effectiveness of those sources.
In closing, OFCCP emphasized these two webinars would not be the last time the contractor community would hear from the Agency on the new regulations -instead categorizing them as an “introduction” to the new obligations.
Along those same lines, we will continue to bring you regular insights, updates and compliance tips on these new regulations through this blog, webinars and other publications in the coming weeks so stay tuned.