OFCCP Lowers VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark for Fifth Consecutive Year
In March 27, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark for 2019. Effective March 31, 2019, the hiring benchmark will be 5.9 percent, down from 6.4 percent in 2018—marking the fifth reduction of the benchmark since its inception in 2014.
Since March 24, 2014, VEVRAA has required contractors with written affirmative action programs (AAPs) either to establish hiring benchmarks for protected veterans each year or to adopt OFCCP’s annual national benchmark. As a result of this requirement, contractors must compare the percentage of their employees who are protected veterans in each of their establishments to whichever hiring benchmark they use. Contractors can use these comparisons to assess the effectiveness of their veteran outreach and recruitment efforts.
In August 2018, OFCCP announced that it would begin “focused reviews” of contractors’ compliance with VEVRAA, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Executive Order 11246 requirements sometime in fiscal year 2019. However, it appears OFCCP will not begin VEVRAA focused reviews until fiscal year 2020. Although VEVRAA focused reviews may not begin this fiscal year, contractors will still want to ensure that all information related to its compliance with VEVRAA is properly tracked and retained as it may still be requested during other scheduled compliance evaluations this fiscal year. More information about VEVRAA focused reviews can be found in Directive 2018-04.
Contractors and subcontractors can also find the annual national benchmark and data for calculating individual hiring benchmarks on the OFCCP website.