On September 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) issued a Final Rule that revises a federal contractor’s obligation to report veteran-related employment and hiring statistics under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).
The Final Rule eliminates the existing, and largely obsolete, veteran-related reporting requirement applicable to contracts entered into before December 1, 2003. Beginning in 2015, federal contractors/subcontractors will no longer be required to annually file VETS-100 and VETS-100A reports.
The Final Rule, more importantly, implements a new annual reporting obligation: the VETS-4212 Report. The VETS-4212 Report requires a covered contractor/subcontractor to provide the following veteran-related employment and hiring statistics:
- the total number of employees in its workforce by job category and hiring location;
- the total number of such employees, by job category and hiring location, who are “protected veterans” (defined as either disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, or Armed Forces service medal veterans);
- the total number of new hires during the reporting period;
- the total number of new hires during the reporting period who are protected veterans; and
- the maximum and minimum number of employees (in the workforce) during the reporting period.
A federal contractor/subcontractor is covered by the Final Rule and is therefore required to submit a VETS-4212 Report for each of its “hiring locations” (i.e., in most cases, each of its separate physical locations) if the federal contractor/subcontractor (1) enters into a $100,000+ contract or subcontract for the procurement of personal property and non-personal services (including construction), and (2) is subject to VEVRAA’s affirmative action obligations.
VETS-4212 Reports must be filed between August 1 and September 30 of each year (beginning in 2015), and they will cover the above-listed statistics for the previous calendar year. Contractors/subcontractors with 10 or more hiring locations must file electronically, while those with fewer hiring locations have the option of filing via paper form.
While covered contractors/subcontractors have not previously been required to report the total number of protected veterans in their workforces, new VETS-4212 Report will ease administrative burden in some respects. The Final Rule eliminates the scenario — possible under the existing reporting requirements — in which protected veterans are counted multiple times if they meet the definition for more than one category of protected veteran.
Additionally, statistics on the total number and proportion of protected veterans employed and newly hired will improve trend data and assist contractors in complying with their VEVRAA affirmative action obligations. Finally, the aggregation of protected veteran status also protects veterans’ privacy, as it will not be possible to discern the identities of individual veterans within a hiring location from the reporting statistics alone.