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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.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

T. Scott Kelly, Defense Contracting Attorney, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins Law firm
Shareholder

Scott Kelly provides practical solutions for federal contractors and subcontractors across the United States to comply with the ever-changing affirmative action obligations imposed by doing business with the federal government.  He advocates on behalf of his clients in compliance evaluations and administrative enforcement actions triggered by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).  Mr. Kelly assists manufacturing, transportation, construction, food processing, hospitality, healthcare, and financial institutions...

205-986-1024
Of Counsel

Christopher (“Chris”) Near works closely with employers to provide advice and representation on employment-related issues that may arise under state or federal statute, regulation, or common law, with a focus on federal and South Carolina law. Chris also provides companies with guidance on handling day-to-day personnel matters and offers advice generally with implementing best practices for employment matters that arise in the normal course of business.

Christopher focuses in: 

  • Litigation
  • Employment Law. 
  • Affirmative Action Claims. 

Chris focuses his practice on assisting federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with legally-mandated employment and reporting obligations, as well as defending compliance reviews and enforcement proceedings brought by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). Some of the issues that Chris provides assistance and advice on include:

  • Jurisdictional analyses;
  • Evaluations of adverse impact and statistical disparity issues;
  • Responses to audit requests and findings; and
  • Preventative measures for continued compliance.

Admitted to Practice

  • South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Education

  • J.D., Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, 2003
  • B.S., University of South Carolina, 2000
803-252-1300