As a government contractor with 50 employees and $50,000 in government contracts, you are required to have an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP). Much of the information that goes into your AAP is collected from your applicants and employee population by providing them with an invitation to voluntarily self-identify.
On March 24, 2014, new OFCCP rules went into effect that significantly changed the record keeping requirements for government contractors. In addition to inviting applicants and new hires to voluntarily identify their race and gender, the Final Rule requires that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as protected veterans at both the pre-offer and post-offer stages of the application process. In addition, employers are also now required to ask whether applicants have a disability pre-offer, post-offer, and to ask employees every 5 years. You are also required to remind employees at least one time between the 5 year check-in periods of employees’ rights to update their disability status.
Although the rule went into effect in March, it actually does not require you to begin tracking this information until your first AAP that is effective after March 24, 2014. In other words, if your current AAP is active through July 2014, you would need to begin tracking this information no later than August 1, 2014, which would be the effective date of your new AAP. Make sense? With that being said, however, the advice I have received is to start collecting and tracking as soon as possible.
The next question you are probably asking yourself is, how do I collect the information? You should invite applicants and new hires to self-identify their race and gender, veteran status, and disability status on three different forms. The regulations have some very specific requirements as to what the forms should contain.
The regulations require that contractors use the OMB form 1250-0005 to collect disability information. If you use an applicant tracking system (ATS), you can collect the information electronically, but it must contain the text of their form without alteration, display the OMB number, and use sans-serif font in 11-pinch font size.
We have also been advised by the OFCCP directly, that the veteran’s self-identification should be a separate form. The regulations do not provide specific language to be used, but they do provide guidance on the information that the form must contain.
Sample Pre- and Post-Offer Self Identification Forms to Comply with New OFCCP Regulations
Sifting through the new rules and figuring out what the requirements are can be a daunting task. If you have not already implemented new forms or have but are still unsure if they meet the requirements under the new rule, here are sample forms you can slap your logo on to begin collecting the required information pre- and post-offer.
On a final note, remember that the completion of these forms are strictly voluntary and must be kept separate from the employment applications during the hiring process and should not be included in the information passed on to the hiring managers making the employment decisions. They should also be kept in a separate Affirmative Action file and not with the employee’s personnel or medical files.