US firm TalentRISE help companies with compliance
The changes pertain to implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act which respectively prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of veteran status or disability. These laws have required federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified individuals with disabilities and veterans and require those employers to demonstrate and track efforts to recruit them.
According to Gayle Norton, senior associate partner, who leads the firm's practice audit and consulting initiatives, "The new Section 503 regulations are well-intentioned as there are clearly significant barriers to employment opportunities for vets and individuals with disabilities. However, implementing and adhering to the regulations is complex and non-compliance can result in considerable fines or even loss of federal contractor status. We are working with several of our clients to audit their current recruitment practices to ensure that they comply with all aspects of the regulations. Norton also notes that the impact is greater than just compliance it actually impacts hiring at all levels of the organizations, including executive recruitment.
The new regulations, announced late in August, will become effective on March 24, 2014, although some exceptions will be made. The regulations include new and different data collection requirements for job applicants and stricter tracking of the number of individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs and the number of individuals with disabilities that are hired.