At a time when the Agency has begun embarking on Section 503 Focused Reviews, OFCCP continues work to prevent discrimination for individuals with disabilities. Last week, as national disability awareness month began, OFCCP quietly published a request to tweak its prescribed disability self-identification form. The revisions seek to streamline the form and provide additional guidance to applicants and employees asked to complete the form seemingly in the hopes of increasing participation.
Importantly, this year marks the 5 year anniversary of the revisions to the Section 503 regulations, which created, for the first time, the obligation to solicit disability self-identification information from employees and applicants. Per the revised regulations, after the inaugural data collection, contractors are required to re-survey their employee populations at least once every five years. Thus, it is likely time for organizations to resurvey if they have not already done so.
Notably, the proposed form:
- Expands the examples of disabilities to include Autoimmune disorders; Gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease; Psychiatric conditions beyond PTSD; and, and Cardiovascular or heart disease.
- Is now one page: OFCCP proposes to remove the Reasonable Accommodation Notice on page 2 of the current form.
- Provides more information regarding why applicants and employees are asked to complete the form. For example, “We must make reasonable efforts to have at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities.” What this really means is 7% of each AAP job group.
- Apparently expands the “Yes” option from, “YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY (or previously had a disability)” to “YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY, OR HAVE A HISTORY/RECORD OF HAVING A DISABILITY.”
OFCCP seeks your comments through December 2, 2019, “including specific suggestions for updating the form and for matching applicants with forms for affirmative action purposes using a method other than name.”