Effective Today, No Need to Solicit and Track Specific Veteran Category Information

We know you’ve been busy revising your self-id forms for applicants and employees to comply with OFCCP’s recent regulatory changes for veterans and individuals with disabilities.  And you’ve been revising your HRIS and ATS systems to track and maintain the information.

Well, still more changes have arrived, so you may not want to finalize the revisions to your forms and systems just yet.

As we blogged about recently, the VETS-100/VETS-100A has gone away.  Replacing it is the new VETS-4212 Form, which will not require reporting specific categories of “protected veterans,” instead requiring only the reporting on total protected veterans.  Section 60-300.42(b) states that we must solicit only the veteran category data “the contractor is required to report pursuant to 41 CFR part 61–300 [VETS reports].”  Thus, because the new VETS-4212 report does not require reporting of specific veteran category data, we are not required to invite applicants or employees to identify specific veteran category status.

Now, you’re not technically required to revise your veteran self-ID forms for employees and applicants.  You can choose to continue to ask for the specific veteran category information, even though no longer required by law. And, we know it would be less burdensome administratively so you can avoid making yet another round of changes to your self-ID forms and systems.

But, in our experience, soliciting and collecting sensitive employee data – when not required by law – can do more harm than good.  For example, if you choose to continue to ask for, let’s say, “disabled veteran” category status from applicants and employees – even though you don’t have to – applicants rejected for hire or employees denied promotions may allege that you unlawfully used their disabled veteran status to reject them for the hiring and promotion opportunities.  Why else, they might argue, are you asking about their disabled veteran status, if the law doesn’t require it, other than to use it to discriminate against them.

Bottom line:  carefully consider the pros and cons of (once again) revising your forms and systems to minimize exposure that accompanies soliciting sensitive applicant and employee protected category data.