How to Ensure That Your Organization Complies With VEVRAA
Written By William Graf | November 16, 2022
November is National Veterans and Military Families month, and if you are a federal contractor, it is a good opportunity for your organization to make sure that it remains compliant with one of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)’s primary regulations, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Otherwise, your organization risks being fined paired with possible reputational damage.
You might be wondering what VEVRAA is and how it applies to your organization. According to the OFCCP, VEVRAA is “a law that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against protected veterans and requires employers take affirmative action to recruit, hire, and retain these individuals.”
VEVRAA was passed in 1974, right before the Vietnam war ended. The law’s purpose was to ensure that veterans returning from the war had equal employment opportunities and to combat any discrimination in the hiring process. VEVRAA covers protected veterans, which is a status created by the law for veterans that fall under the following categories; active-duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, disabled veterans, armed forces service medal veterans, and recently separated veterans.
The best way to stay compliant with VEVRAA is to understand and follow the requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors. VEVRAA has multiple requirements for federal contractors.
Contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment of protected veterans by establishing a hiring benchmark and making efforts to progress towards the percentage target
All federal contractors to provide an equal opportunity clause in all government contracts and subcontracts
Contractors to offer applicants the chance to self-identify as a protected veteran
Contractors to develop and maintain written VEVRAA Affirmative Action Plans
Distributing jobs to the appropriate Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS), which is often the state job board
Certain recordkeeping for three years
Submitting the VETS-4212 report, an annual federal contractor veterans’ employment report
If you are not sure what an Affirmative Action Plan is, learn more about it here.
So, how do you know if VEVRAA applies to your specific organization? VEVRAA applies to federal contractors meeting the following two conditions: the organization has a federal government contract or subcontract of $150,000 or more and has 50 or more employees.
There are also some best practices the OFCCP outlined for federal contractors to guide them to compliance. For example, federal contractors should establish veteran “affinity” or employee resource groups that will encourage veterans to join and participate. It’s also paramount that your organization understands the possibility of impairments or disabilities that some veterans may have, allowing you to find the best ways to provide accommodations to a potential employee.
Establishing a professional relationship with your local veterans’ employment representative, veteran representatives at colleges and technical schools, and any personnel at military facilities who’s directly involved in transitioning military members to the private sector can also be a great tool for finding candidates who are veterans.
To help you stay compliant with VEVRAA, here are a couple of questions that you can ask yourself to see if your organization is putting in the effort required to be compliant:
Are you posting jobs to the State Job Banks?
Have you set any hiring benchmarks for Veterans?
Do you have any plans for outreach to any local veterans’ employment representatives?
Have you invited voluntary self-identification in your application processes?
If you want a solution that can help you become or stay compliant with OFCCP regulations, JobTarget’s OFCCP Compliance package makes it effortless by automating many of the processes. CompliancePost sends your jobs to state job boards to be compliant with VEVRAA and sends jobs to nationwide veteran and military hiring boards.
In addition to CompliancePost, Local Outreach allows companies to choose local veteran organizations to communicate with and share jobs. Also, Activities is where you can document your outreach efforts as you work toward the protected veteran hiring benchmark. Lastly, JobTarget keeps all of your records for three years to help you meet the recordkeeping requirements.
Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to offer legal advice. Secure legal counsel when ensuring government compliance.
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