Administration Looks at Hiring of People with Disabilities by Federal Contractors
As part of its efforts to increase job opportunities for people with disabilities, the federal government is focusing on rules governing government contractors.
Under current law, contractors must ensure equal opportunities, and some are required by the Rehabilitation Act to have a written affirmative action plan. Compliance is the government’s current focus.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has requested public comment on ways compliance can be measured. In its response, SHRM praised the government for its efforts, but urged OFCCP to acknowledge that measurement can be difficult.
For instance, some people may not wish to self-identify as living with a disability, and the person’s disability status may change over time. Instead of requiring specific hiring goals, SHRM suggested that the agency focus on removing barriers, such as requiring contractors to create accommodation policies and train managers on handling requests. SHRM also suggested the collection and publication of best practices, to guide other employers.
We will continue to monitor this issue as draft rules are developed. SHRM’s response to the agency’s request for comments is available HERE.