The Veterans' Readjustment Benefits Act (amended by the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998)

Pub. L. No. 105-339, 112 Stat. 3182 (1998); 38 U.S.C. § 4211 et seq.; 41 C.F.R. Parts 60-250.1 et seq., 61-250.1 et seq., and 48 C.F.R. § 52.222-35

The Law: Requires postsecondary institutions with federal contracts of $100,000 or more to implement an affirmative action program for the following categories of veterans: Disabled Veteran, Qualified Disabled Veteran, Other Protected Veteran, Recently Separated Veteran, and Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran. Said program is not necessarily limited to employment connected with the federal contract. Provides reemployment rights.

Actions Necessary:

  • Written affirmative action plan. For government contracts of $100,000 or more and 50 or more employees, a written affirmative action plan is required.
  • Job postings. The employer must list employment openings with the appropriate employment service where each job opening occurs. The regulations indicate that this may be accomplished by listing the job opening with the applicable state workforce agency job bank or the local employment service delivery system in which the opening occurs (e.g., D.C. Department of Employment Services). Posting with America's Job Bank is no longer sufficient. As before, covered employers are not required to post executive or senior management jobs, or temporary jobs lasting three day or less.
  • Filing. Annual reports to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training (OASVET) on compliance and the number of veterans hired, total veterans in the work force, and total number of new employees. The form used is Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report (VETS-100). The regulations, at 41 C.F.R. Part 61-250, state that the form must be submitted by September 30 of each year.
  • Recordkeeping. A two-year retention period for any personnel or employment record made or kept by the contractor is applicable to any contractor with 150 or more employees and a government contract of $150,000 or more. This is in accord with the record retention requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title VII.
  • Outreach. Development of recruitment program and literature required, and posting of notice of the law is required.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors Regarding Disabled Veterans, Recently Separated Veterans, Other Protected Veterans, and Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans, Final Rule, 72 Fed. Reg. 44393 (August 8, 2007) (to be codified at 41 CFR Part 60-300)

Effective September 7, 2007, this final rule changes those veterans covered by the veterans affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).

The previously covered veterans categories were: Special Disabled Veteran, Qualified Special Disabled Veterans, Veteran of the Vietnam era, and Recently Separated Veterans. The new categories are: Disabled Veteran, Qualified Disabled Veteran, Other Protected Veteran, Recently Separated Veteran, and Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran. Below are the definitions for these new categories:

  • Disabled veteran means: (1) A veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or (2) A person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • Qualified disabled veteran means a disabled veteran who has the ability to perform the essential functions of the employment position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Other protected veteran means a 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, under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • Recently separated veteran means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service.
  • Armed Forces service medal veteran means any veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985 (61 FR 1209).

These new veterans categories should be reflected in the Veterans/Disabled Affirmative Action Plan document, as well as the post-offer voluntary invitation to self-identify seeking information on veteran/disabled status. Note that both the Plan and the invitation to self-identify also apply to "disabled individuals," a non-veteran category that is still applicable, and thus should not be removed from the Plan or the invitation form.

Finally, the final rule makes a couple of other significant changes. First, it increases the federal contract coverage amount from $25,000 to $100,000. Now only contracts and subcontracts of $100,000 or more are subject to veterans affirmative action obligations. Second, the new regulations require that covered employers list employment openings with the appropriate employment service where each job opening occurs. The regulations indicate that this may be accomplished by listing the job opening with the applicable state workforce agency job bank or the local employment service delivery system in which the opening occurs (e.g., D.C. Department of Employment Services). In other words, posting with America's Job Bank is no longer sufficient. As before, covered employers are not required to post executive or senior management jobs, or temporary jobs lasting three day or less.

Note that these regulations apply only to federal contracts entered into or modified on or after December 1, 2003. All prior contracts will still be governed by 41 CFR part 60-250.