A Closer Look at the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)
By: Recruiting Specialist
If you are a federal contractor who needs to develop an OFCCP compliance strategy, the first order of business is an understanding of the laws which govern the OFCCP mandate. One of the multiple legislative orders for compliance is the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act or VEVRAA, which prohibits discrimination against protected veterans.
Why was VEVRRA Enacted?
Congress established VEVRAA in 1974 to provide assistance to Vietnam veterans returning home from the war and ensure there is no discrimination in the hiring process. VEVRAA mandates that federal contractors and subcontractors who have contracts with the government for a certain amount take affirmative action and make jobs available to qualified veterans, including disabled and Vietnam era veterans, covering the years of 1964–1991. The 2002 Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) amended the order to include special disabled and disabled veterans, veterans who have enlisted in the Armed Forces and those in the active reserves or National Guard.
Here are definitions, as outlined by the Department of Labor:
- "Veteran of the Vietnam era" – a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service, any part of whose service was during the period August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975, who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days. "Vietnam era veteran" also includes any veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service who served in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- A "special disabled veteran" is a person who is entitled to compensation under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a disability rated at 30 percent or more; or, a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service–connected disability.
- A "disabled veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service and is entitled to disability compensation, or was discharged or released from active duty because of a service–connected disability.
- "Protected veteran" means any other veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military ground, naval, or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.
Who needs to comply?
If you are a federal contractor or subcontractor doing business with the federal government and receive contracts totaling $50,000 or more, you need to comply. JVA amended the order, and increased this to contracts totaling $100,000 or more. Contracts over $50,000 entered into before 12/31/2003 with the Federal government are covered under CFR 60–250. Contracts over $100,000 entered into after 12/31/2003 are covered under CFR 60–300.
How do you comply?
As part of an affirmative action plan, federal contractors and subcontractors are required to comply with a mandatory job–listing provision, which requires them to list all employment openings with local state employment services, except for executive and top management jobs; jobs which the contractor expects to fill from within; and jobs lasting 3 days or less. VEVRAA also requires federal contractors and subcontractors to submit an annual report on the number of current employees who are covered veterans.
How do I post my jobs on state employment services?
Each state has its own unique career site, methods of accepting job postings and record keeping data requirements, so working with a one–stop job portal can be most effective. America’s Job Exchange (AJE), for instance, distributes jobs to all U.S. states via email every day. This means jobs are being sent to OneStop centers, Veteran’s representatives, Community Based Organizations, Educational Institutions and departments of Vocational Rehabilitation on a daily basis. Additionally, job postings will be sent to AJE’s diversity network of sites, such as DiversityJobs.com, DisabilityJobs.net, AllVeteransJobs.com, and others.
Who is the OFCCP?
The purpose of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is to enforce – for the benefit of job seekers – Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation. This legislation requires that those who do business with the Federal government make job opportunities available to diversity candidates – minorities, women, veterans and others; candidates that are traditionally considered to be under represented in the workforce.