On April 21, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it had updated the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Benchmark Database on its website. The VEVRAA Benchmark Database is one of two databases that the OFCCP launched in March of 2014 to help contractors and subcontractors comply with new veteran regulations, namely the VEVRAA hiring benchmark requirements.
The Annual National Benchmark is now just slightly lower than last year’s at 7 percent—down from 7.2 percent. The update was based on data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014. The OFCCP also updated national and state information in the VEVRAA Benchmark Database for federal contractors and subcontractors who establish their own individualized hiring benchmark based on five factors that include state-based data published by OFCCP and “other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances.”
Since the effective date of March 24, 2014, VEVRAA has required contractors with written affirmative action programs (AAPs) to either establish hiring benchmarks for protected veterans each year or to adopt the OFCCP’s Annual National Benchmark. As a result of this requirement, contractors must compare the percentage of their employees who are protected veterans in each of their establishments to whichever hiring benchmark they use. Contractors can use these comparisons assess the effectiveness of their veteran outreach and recruitment efforts.
Contractors and subcontractors can find the Annual National Benchmark and data for calculating individual hiring benchmarks on the U.S. Department of Labor’s OFCCP website.
Leigh M. Nason is a shareholder in the Columbia office of Ogletree Deakins, and she chairs the firm’s Affirmative Action Programs and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group.