The Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which the agency proposes revising the regulations addressing reporting requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).
Executive Summary: The Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which the agency proposes revising the regulations addressing reporting requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).
Currently, there are two sets of reporting requirements under VEVRAA. Depending on when the contract was entered into, contractors and subcontractors must either file a VETS-100 or VETS-100A report annually. According to the NPRM, VETS plans to rescind the regulations providing for reporting using the VETS-100 form (which apply to contracts entered into on or before December 1, 2003) because those regulations have become obsolete. The agency also proposes renaming the annual report prescribed by the regulations as the Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report VETS-4212 (VETS-4212 Report) and requiring contractors to report the total number of protected veterans hired or employed in the aggregate rather than by individual veteran category. Additionally, the proposed regulations seek to revise the definitions of terms used in the regulations, the text of the reporting requirements clause included in government contracts and subcontracts, and the methods of filing the annual report on veterans' employment. The NPRM states that the proposed changes will better assist contractors in complying with OFCCP regulations implementing the affirmative action requirements under VEVRAA.
Federal contractors are familiar with the many changes to VEVRAA (and the Rehabilitation Act) effective March 24, 2014. One of those changes is the revised veteran categories. Under the new OFCCP regulations, "Other Protected Veteran" has been renamed "Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veteran." The VETS proposal would rename the same category. This modification will make it easier for contractors to complete the VETS reporting form.
One of the most important changes VETS proposes to make to the reporting form is ending the requirement that contractors report veteran numbers by individual veteran categories. Thus, rather than identifying each veteran in the appropriate category, VETS will simply want to see the total protected veterans employed as of a particular date and those who were hired in the prior 12 months. Of course, this change will not be effective until the regulations and the new form have been finalized. Until then contractors must follow the requirements to utilize the post-offer self-identification form which asks individuals to identify themselves under one veteran category. Based on the OFCCP's new VEVRAA regulations, at that time, contractors can cease asking for veteran categories during the post-offer stage.
VETS has proposed making the new regulations effective one year from the date of publication of the final regulations. VETS will accept comments on the proposed regulations until April 25, 2014.
If you have any comments regarding this Alert or other reporting or affirmative action obligations of federal contractors, please contact Linda Cavanna-Wilk, LCavanna-Wilk@fordharrison.com who is a member of FordHarrison's Affirmative Action/Government Contracts Practice Group. You may also contact the FordHarrison attorney with whom you usually work.