What is the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)?

When it comes to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to veterans, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) requires that federal contractors and subcontractors must adhere to specific laws after being awarded a contract.  Here, you’ll learn about the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and what you need to know to meet these OFCCP regulatory standards.

Understanding these regulations is crucial for federal contractors and subcontractors. Failure to comply can result in financial penalties, cancellation of current contracts, ongoing reporting to the OFCCP, and reputation damage that could negatively impact future contracts and your organization’s brand.

VEVRAA Benchmark Update

Effective March 31, 2022, the OFCCP released its new annual hiring benchmark that federal contractors and subcontractors should strive to achieve. Now at 5.5 percent – lowered from the 2021 benchmark of 5.6 percent – the VEVRAA regulation states that contractors with affirmative action plans (AAP) either follow AAP national benchmark guidelines or establish their own hiring benchmarks referencing section 60-300.45(b)(2). 

What is the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)?

The law, which was originally signed into effect in 1974, prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against qualified protected veterans in employment. Employers are also required to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain protected veterans. 

Qualified protected veterans under VEVRAA are:

  • Disabled veterans;

  • Recently separated veterans;

  • Active duty wartime or campaign veterans;

  • Campaign badge veterans; or

  • Armed Forces service medal veterans

 Who does VEVRAA apply to?

  • Adjusted for inflation, organizations (supply and service, construction) with federal contracts of $150,000 or more

  • Organizations (supply and service, construction) that have 50 employees or more, and a single federal contract equal to $150,000 or more, a VEVRAA affirmative action plan (AAP) must also be developed as described in 41 CFR 60‐300, Subpart C

For more on jurisdiction thresholds and inflationary adjustments for VEVRAA, visit here.

Tips to maintain VEVRAA compliance

  • Set hiring benchmarks – adopt the national percentage-based benchmark or create an individualized benchmark.

  • Invite voluntary self-identification during the application process (pre-offer) and after an offer has been extended and accepted (post-offer).

  • Collect data to track the effectiveness of veteran recruiting and hiring efforts, including the number of veteran applicants, hired veterans, and employees who are veterans.

  • Post jobs to State Job Banks, Employment Service Delivery Systems (ESDS), and other resources to reach protected veterans.

  • Establish outreach plans and relationships with local veterans’ employment representatives at job centers, military bases, colleges, and vocational schools.

 If you’re a federal contractor or subcontractor, looking for a robust compliance solution, JobTarget’s OFCCP offerings can automate much of the compliance process and provide integral support during an audit. Click below to contact us to learn more.

 Disclaimer: This is not intended to offer legal advice. Secure legal counsel when ensuring government compliance.

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