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OFCCP Again Lowers VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark

On March 27, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it was lowering the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark again this year.  Effective March 31, 2019, the new benchmark is 5.9 percent, down from 6.4 percent the previous year.  This marks the fifth consecutive year that the benchmark has been lowered since its inception in March 2014, when it was set at 7.2 percent.

VEVRAA is designed to provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in certain campaigns.  Contractors are required to establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans and assess their progress against that benchmark.  Contractors have the option of establishing their own benchmark or adopting OFCCP’s annual national benchmark. 

Contractors should be especially diligent in ensuring compliance with VEVRAA and retaining related documentation in light of OFCCP’s announcement in August 2018 that it would begin conducting focused reviews. Moreover, this documentation may also be requested during other scheduled compliance evaluations. 

Additional information regarding VEVRAA compliance and the national benchmark can be found on the OFCCP website.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California

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About this Author

Associate

Samuel Long is an associate in the Employment Disputes, Litigation and Arbitration practice group. Sam represents corporate clients and individuals in a variety of industry sectors in all aspects of labor and employment law, including representation before administrative agencies and litigation in state and federal court. Clients rely on him for valuable legal counsel as they face sensitive workplace issues. He has successfully defended clients against claims of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination under state and federal statutes, including Title VII,...

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Associate

Jack Blum is an associate in the firm’s Employment Disputes, Litigation, and Arbitration practice, where he represents employers in connection with a wide range of employment law issues. Jack has extensive experience in defending employers against claims by their employees in federal and state courts, as well as before government agencies like the EEOC, Department of Labor, and state human rights commissions. Jack aggressively defends his client’s personnel practices and decisions while not losing sight of their underlying business goals and objectives. Jack represents clients in all aspects of complex employment litigation and has advised and defended employer clients regarding a wide variety of employee claims, including:

• Employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
• Wage and hour
• Employment contract disputes
• Independent contractor/employee misclassification audits 
• Tort claims arising out of the employment relationship

Jack also has extensive experience representing parties in litigation arising from employee mobility, including claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements as well as the misappropriation of trade secrets. Significantly, Jack has experience in both prosecuting and defending these claims and is, therefore, able to offer clients a well-rounded assessment of their options and courses of action. Jack also has experience redressing employee data breaches under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Jack also has a background in employment counseling, where he has worked closely with in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and business executives to craft personnel policies that meet the client’s business requirements while complying with applicable laws. Jack has particular experience in assisting clients with issues relating to employee/independent contractor classifications, and regularly advises clients regarding the defensibility of classifications, drafts independent contractor agreements to provide the strongest possible arguments in support of the classification, and defends misclassification claims asserted by employees and government agencies. Jack also walks clients through sensitive personnel actions to reduce the potential for litigation or at least best position the client in the event that litigation is inevitable. Jack draws heavily upon this counseling experience in representing clients in litigation.

During law school, Jack served as a legal intern in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Inspector General where he contributed to several high-profile internal investigations, and also interned with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

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