In preparation for the 2019 launch of its veteran hiring initiative, the Department of Labor announced a list of award recipients for its pilot “HIRE VETS Medallion Program Demonstration Award” on Wednesday, December 19.
President Trump signed the HIRE (Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans) Vets Act on May 5, 2017. HIRE required the DOL to establish rules for an award program that recognizes employers who make extra efforts to recruit, hire, and retain veterans. In October, DOL released additional information on the Medallion Awards Program, which recognizes those employers who demonstrate dedication to hiring and retaining qualified veterans during the previous calendar year and offer certain veteran-specific employee programs. The HIRE Act establishes two tiers of recognition: Gold and Platinum, with varying requirements depending upon employer size.
DOL anticipates that the benefits to employers will include reputational recognition and the ability for employers to market themselves as a “veteran friendly employer and be able to attract more veterans for job openings.” Employers who have been cited for or who have admitted to violating their obligations under USERRA or VEVRAA during the previous 12 month are ineligible.
Participation in the HIRE Vets Medallion Program is voluntary and open to employers of all sizes. Interested employers must submit applications with the applicable entry fee between January 31 and April 30, 2019. The initial 2019 VETS Medallion Awards recipients will be announced to coincide with Veterans’ Day.
As we’ve reported in the past few months, OFCCP has also announced its intention to recognize government contractors with outstanding comprehensive outreach programs and innovative targeted outreach to individuals with disabilities.