Tuesday, October 19, 2010

OFCCP's Focus on Veterans Is Subject of House Subcommittee Hearing

U.S. Department of Labor


Some 30 percent of OFCCP's on-site reviews of federal contractors in FY 2010 turned up problems with the recruitment of veterans, Les Jin, OFCCP's deputy director, recently told members of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. Jin testified about the work OFCCP does to enforce the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistant Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act as it pertains to disabled veterans.
Especially disturbing was the agency's finding that some veterans for whom VEVRAA and Section 503 provide important civil rights protections are reluctant to disclose their veteran status when they work for or seek employment with federal contractors or subcontractors.
"Many of these young men and women are returning from battle with physical injuries, emotional trauma and a host of other challenges," Jin said. "They need re-entry services and some have told us they are afraid to disclose their status as a disabled veteran - and sometimes even their service - to their employers for fear of being discriminated against when hiring, compensation and promotion decisions are made."
OFCCP, in response to such concerns, is seeking to revise VEVRAA regulations to strengthen affirmative action programs and measure the effectiveness of federal contractors' equal employment opportunity efforts. Similar regulatory action is underway with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Jin also described OFCCP's new outreach efforts to individual veterans and to community and advocacy groups who represent veterans' interests. "We are educating veterans about their rights in the job market. We are showing them how to identify discriminatory practices, and we are creating avenues for two-way communication between communities of veterans and OFCCP," he said.
Read the complete text of Deputy Director Jin's testimony at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20100929_Jin.htm

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