On February 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (“VETS”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Notice”) that proposes revisions to the reporting requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (“VEVRAA”), as amended. VEVRAA sets standards for government contractors and subcontractors to report on the number of military veterans they employ and the number of new hires each year who belong to the categories of veterans protected under VEVRAA through the VETS-100 report (for contracts that were entered into prior to December 1, 2003) or the VETS-100A report (for contracts that were entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003).
The Notice sets forth two key changes to the VEVRAA reporting requirements. First, VETS proposes to rescind the regulations that require contractors with government contracts entered into prior to December 1, 2003 to report under VEVRAA. The Notice states that VETS believes that these regulations regarding pre-December 1, 2003 contracts have become obsolete. Second, VETS proposes to revise the reporting requirements for contractors and subcontractors with government contracts that were entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003. The proposed revision would allow these contractors and subcontractors to report annually on the number of new hires and employees who belong to the veteran categories protected under VEVRAA in the aggregate, rather than requiring the contractors and subcontractors to report the required information for each separate category of protected veteran. This revision is prompted, in part, by the fact that the current annual report requires contractors to disclose the number of disabled veterans they employ, and that in certain situations, it might be possible for others to determine the identity of those disabled veterans. The current reporting regulations also complicate VETS’s efforts to determine the total number of employees who are protected veterans as some individuals may be counted in more than one of the veteran reporting categories. If VETS’s proposed revisions are adopted, the current VETS-100 report and the VETS-100A report would be replaced by a single “VETS-4212” report. The Notice proposes that government contractors and subcontractors be required to comply with any adopted revisions one year after the effective date of a final rule.
In addition to the two major proposed revisions, the Notice also sets forth proposed revisions to the regulations relating to: (1) the definitions of terms used in the regulations; (2) the text regarding the reporting requirements under VEVRAA that is included in federal contracts and subcontracts; and (3) the available methods for filing the required annual report.
The deadline for submitting comments to the Department of Labor on this Notice is April 25, 2014. If you have any questions about these issues, please contact your Labor and Employment Counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.