New York Labor and Employment Law Report
VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Lowered for Federal Contractors
April 4, 2018
On March 30, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") announced the new national hiring benchmark for protected veterans under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act ("VEVRAA"). The new hiring benchmark is effective March 31, 2018, and lowers the benchmark to 6.4% from the previous benchmark of 6.7%. The hiring benchmark is the percentage of total hires who are protected veterans that a federal contractor should seek to hire during the year.
Federal contractors required to develop affirmative action programs under VEVRAA must establish a hiring benchmark for protected veterans each year based on the national benchmark provided by the OFCCP or by developing an individualized hiring benchmark based on five factors. The OFCCP provides a chart on its website listing the current and historical national benchmarks set since the inception of this requirement on March 24, 2014.
Unlike the VEVRAA hiring benchmark, which is based on the current national average, the 7.0% utilization goal for individuals with disabilities, established under the Rehabilitation Act, is not annually adjusted and will remain at 7.0% through the regulatory process.
Federal contractors with program years starting on or after March 31, 2018, should utilize the new national hiring benchmark of 6.4% for protected veterans unless establishing individual hiring benchmarks based on the five factors.