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Friday, January 13, 2012

OFCCP Proposes 7% Disabled Goal for Federal Contractors


By: Tommy Eden, Attorney
Alabama@Work
Opelika Auburn News 1-16-12

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities. The DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) invites public comment on this proposal by February 7, 2012.

The proposed regulatory changes detail specific actions contractors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record-keeping and policy dissemination—similar to those that have long been required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities. In addition, the rule would clarify OFCCP’s expectations for contractors by providing specific guidance on how to comply with the law as follows:

Highlights of the proposed rule include:Goals: Federal contractors and subcontractors would be required to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their employees be workers with disabilities in each job group of the contractors’ workforce.
Data Collection: Collection of data on employment of people with disabilities by requiring that contractors invite all applicants to voluntarily self-identify as an “individual with a disability” at the pre-offer stage of the hiring process. Contractors also will be required to invite post-offer voluntary self-identification and to survey all employees annually in order to invite their self-identification in an anonymous manner.
Record-Keeping: Require that contractors maintain records on the number of individuals with disabilities applying for positions and the number of individuals with disabilities hired.
Accommodation Requests: Require, for the first time, that contractors develop and implement written procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation.
Outreach: Require that contractors engage in a minimum of three specific types of outreach and recruitment efforts to recruit individuals with disabilities.
Job Listings: Require that contractors list job openings with One-Stop Career Centers or other appropriate employment delivery systems.
Annual Reviews: Require previously recommended steps contractors must take to review their personnel processes, as well as their physical and mental job qualifications.
ADAAA Updates: Incorporate updates made necessary by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Common Sense Counsel Immediate Action Step for Covered Employers (Live links at www.Alabamaatwork.com)

View the OFCCP Webinar
Read the Proposed Rule in Text Formats
Comment on the Rule - Open for Comment December 9, 2011 to February 7,
Print the Fact Sheet
Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions
• Stop trying to guess who is a 7 percenter in your workplace as that exercise will most likely get you a “perceived as” ADA Charge.


Tommy Eden is a Lee County native, an attorney with the local office of Capell & Howard, PC and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at tme@chlaw.com or 334-501-1540.