EPLI News: New Hiring Rules for Veterans & Disabled
The Labor Department issued finals rules requiring federal contractors to show they are taking steps to hire more veterans and disabled workers. The federal rules place a threshold for veterans at 8 percent of a workforce and 7 percent for disabled workers.
The rules aim to increase the number of veterans and disabled people with jobs. In addition to the social and employment changes, it will have a significant impact on these businesses. Currently there are about 200,000 companies that account for federal contracts totaling $700 billion a year. The contracted companies span a wide range of industries from defense, health care, construction and information technology.
If the companies don’t revamp their hiring policies, they risk having their contracts revoked. The new requirements affect most companies that contract or subcontract with the federal government.
Many companies voice opposition against the regulations, saying they were already making efforts to focus hiring efforts on veterans and disable workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making up 7.5% of the workforce, there are 10.9 million veterans. While 5.8 million people are working with a disability or looking for work- about 3.7 percent of the workforce. Veterans face an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent. Disabled workers unemployment rate was 14.7 percent. The national average is 7.7 percent.
The changes will impact the contractors considerably. They will have to alter their hire practices. Some estimates predict contractors will need to spend an estimated $6 billion a year to produce reams of new paperwork to show they are making strides to meet the new federal hiring rules.
While opponents say the goals are laudable, they are concerned about the increased cost, change in hiring practice and implementation. It could be difficult for employers to find enough employees with appropriate experience levels that meet workforce requirements.
The regulations are uncharted territory for federal hiring rules. What do you think of the changes? How will they affect company’s hiring processes? Will EPLI requirements change for federally contracted companies? We’d love to hear what you think.
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