Well ahead of schedule, and within days of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on July 23 issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) soliciting input from the public on how OFCCP can strengthen the affirmative action regulations for applicants and employees with disabilities under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The regulations implementing Section 503 are longstanding and the ANPRM indicates OFCCP’s intent to reexamine them “to make them more effective and to help ensure that more people with disabilities are employed and are given the opportunity to advance in employment in the Federal contracting labor force.”

OFCCP is seeking comments on 18 issues, including:

  • How the affirmative action regulations can be strengthened to increase the employment opportunities for disabled individuals;
  • What barriers impede federal contractors from hiring individuals with disabilities;
  • What data could be examined to allow contractors to conduct utilization analyses and establish hiring goals for disabled individuals;
  • What employment practices are effective in recruiting, hiring, advancing, and retaining individuals with disabilities; and
  • Whether job seekers should be invited to voluntarily self-identify disabled status prior to an offer of employment, instead of after an offer has been made.

Written or electronic comments must be received by the Department of Labor on or before September 21, 2010, and will be used to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  Comments are available for review online at http://www.regulations.gov.

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