DOL issues new rules for vets, disabled workers

By BenefitsPro


By Dan Cook

The U.S. Department of Labor is stepping up efforts to encourage employers to hire veterans and those with disabilities.

DOL issued two final rules this week “to improve hiring and employment of veterans and for people with disabilities,” it said in a release.

One addresses areas of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 that DOL decided needed strengthening.

With the new rule, “contractors will be required to annually adopt a benchmark either based on the national percentage of veterans in the workforce (currently 8 percent), or their own benchmark based on the best available data.”

The rule adds additional requirements to employers’ records-keeping, designed to accomplish two aims: to help employers better assess their veterans recruiting efforts, and to improve compliance with existing laws by clarifying job listing and subcontract requirements.

As part of the “strengthening” of the veterans’ act, the rule “provides contractors with a quantifiable metric to measure their success in recruiting and employing veterans by requiring contractors to annually adopt a benchmark either based on the national percentage of veterans in the workforce (currently 8 percent), or their own benchmark based on the best available data.”

The disabilities rule sets a hiring “goal” for federal contractors stating 7 percent of workers in each job group will be people with disabilities.

The rule spells out specific actions to achieve that goal to be taken in the areas of recruiting, training, records keeping and communications, “similar to those that have long been required to promote workplace equality for women and minorities,” DOL said.

The rules will become effective 180 days after their publication in the Federal Register.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com