The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) of the U.S. Department of Labor has issued the final rule to revise reporting requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended (VEVRAA). The final rule, which is intended to minimize paperwork burdens for contractors, was published in the Federal Register on September 25, 2014. In spite of the effective date of October 27, 2014, contractors will not be affected until the 2015 annual reporting period. Below is an outline of the key differences between the VETS-100A report and the new VETS-4212 report:
- The VETS-100A Report is now named the VETS-4212 Report.
- The VETS-100 Report is rescinded, rendering obsolete the VETS reporting requirements applicable to Government contracts and subcontracts entered into before December 1, 2003.
- The term “covered veteran” is replaced with the term “protected veteran.”
- The definition of “protected veteran” has been updated to reflect the new regulations under VEVRAA, as amended (“other protected veteran” is now “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran”).
- Contractors will be required to report on protected veteran hiring and employment numbers in the aggregate (rather than by specific protected veteran category, as previously required by the VETS-100 and VETS-100A Reports).
- Contractors will have the option of reporting new hires data (protected veteran hires and total hires) by EEO-1 category in a hiring location OR reporting only aggregate numbers (totals) for new hires by hiring location.
The most substantial of the changes listed above is the requirement for contractors to report protected veteran numbers in the aggregate under the VETS-4212 Report. Under the VETS-100 and VETS-100A Reports, contractors were required to report veteran employment and hire data by EEO-1 category and specific protected veteran category (i.e., “recently separated vet,” “disabled vet,” “Armed Forces service medal vet,” and “other protected vet”). The final rule greatly reduces the amount of data that contractors will report by eliminating the requirement to report veteran data by specific category and giving contractors the option of reporting only total numbers for new hires.
The final rule states that collecting data in the aggregate rather than by specific category will allow for “more meaningful” reporting for both federal contractors and for VETS. According to VETS, federal contractors will be able to utilize the aggregate data in their evaluation of whether specific outreach and recruitment efforts toward protected veterans are effective, in accordance with VEVRAA obligations. Furthermore, VETS states that aggregate numbers will allow them to “include cross-year comparisons of Federal contractors' employment and hiring of protected veterans in the annual report [to Congress].” The agency also expressed that the switch to aggregate reporting will alleviate concerns of maintaining the anonymity of disabled veterans in smaller companies.
Lastly, the final rule affirms that contractors with 10 or fewer hiring locations will have the option of submitting their VETS-4212 report by paper format (VETS-4212 form found here) via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org or hard copy mailed to Veterans’ Employment and Training Service Center, c/o Department of Labor National Contact Center (DOL-NCC), 3110 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 800, Falls Church, VA 22042. Contractors that do not meet this threshold must file electronically either through VETS’ web-based filing system, or by mailing reports saved on electronic storage media (e.g., CD, flash drive) to the address above.
By Rachel Gabbard, M.A., HR Analyst and Jeff Henderson, M.P.S., HR Analyst, DCI Consulting Group