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Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, along with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) of 1973, and the Executive Order 11246 all work together to help federal contractors meet their obligations in hiring qualified individuals with disabilities.
In August of 2013, the United States Federal Government announced changes to Section 503 aimed at requiring employers, who are contractors or subcontractors on federal contracts, to set and monitor affirmative action goals. These changes went into effect on March 24, 2014.
VEVRAA is also undergoing changes. In the end, the goal is to improve the employment prospects of individuals with disabilities.
The new changes require federal contractors and subcontractors, with contracts or subcontracts over $10,000 in value, to plan affirmative action goals towards employing qualified individuals with disabilities. Employers have additional responsibilities in hiring and reporting practices for individuals with disabilities.
Employers who already have a written affirmative action program (AAP) in place when the new rule went into effect have additional time to conform with the adjusted AAP requirements.
A few key elements of the new Section 503 requirements are:
For more information about filing disability discrimination complaints or compliance reviews, contact any of OFCCP’s regional or district offices. All offices are listed in online telephone directory under OFCCP.
Frequently Asked Questions Section 503 Final Rule
Final Rule Text: Summary and Pre-amble
Letter on Voluntary Self-Identification