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Employer Assistance & Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN): A service of The Viscardi Center.
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Defining Goals


Effective March 24th 2014, under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; federal contractors must establish a utilization goal for employing people with disabilities. This goal should be 7% in each job category, or 7% across the entire workforce for contractors with less than 100 employees.

For compliance with the Vietnam Era Veterans’  Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), contractors can utilize a benchmark established by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and updated annually (currently set at 8%) for creating hiring objectives related to protected veterans.  Contractors can also establish their own benchmarks for protected veterans at each establishment location,  based on available workforce demographics in that region using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA). It is permissible to consider factors specific to the contractors’ recruitment conditions when formulating specialized benchmarks. Visit the OFCCP website for more information:

OFCCP Final Rule to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

OFCCP Final Rule to Improve Job Opportunities for Protected Veterans

The goal-setting process in affirmative action planning is used to target and measure the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts to eradicate and prevent discrimination. The goals will allow contractors to assess the efficacy of their outreach and hiring methods and determine whether their equal opportunity efforts are culminating in actual representation.

Contractors must conduct an annual analysis to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement. Where goals are not achieved, there must be sufficient documentation of action to be considered good-faith efforts. While failure to reach said goals is not a violation of Section 503 or VEVRAA regulations,  contractors must  implement  strategies for effective  recruitment and outreach  and for the removal  of any barriers inhibiting progress towards goal achievement.

Other Resources

e-laws Advisor<>
The e-laws Advisors are interactive e-tools that provide easy-to-understand information about a number of Federal employment laws. Each Advisor simulates the interaction that you might have with an employment law expert. It asks questions and provides answers based on responses given.

Affirmative Action and People with Disabilities<>
This resource provides information on Affirmative Action (AA) and how it relates to the employment of people with disabilities including the ten components of a successful AA Plan.

Executive Order 11246 - Affirmative Action<>
This resource provides information from the Department of Labor on the Executive Order 11246 and the role of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. It also describes Affirmative Action (AA) outreach and requirements for Federal Contractors. Examples of AA programs, successes and additional resources are also provided for employers.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance<>
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) ensures that contractors doing business with the Federal government take affirmative action and do not discriminate. The purpose of this agency is to enforce the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government.

Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) of 1974<>
This web site provides information on VEVRAA, which requires that employers with federal contracts or subcontracts of $100,000 or more 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 a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 <>
This resource provides information on Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires affirmative action and prohibits employment discrimination by federal government contractors and subcontractors with contracts of more than $10,000.

Page last updated on Wednesday, March 26, 2014