Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors Regarding Individuals With Disabilities
GAO-14-167R: Nov 7, 2013
GAO reviewed the Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFCCP) new rule on affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations of contractors and subcontractors regarding individuals with disabilities. GAO found that (1) the final rule revises the current regulations implementing the nondiscrimination and affirmative action regulations of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Section 503 prohibits discrimination by covered federal contractors and subcontractors against individuals on the basis of disability and requires affirmative action on behalf of qualified individuals with disabilities. The final rule adopts several key revisions proposed in the notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions by, among other things, requiring data collection pertaining to applicants and hires with disabilities and establishing a utilization goal for individuals with disabilities to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the contractor's affirmative action efforts. However, some of the proposals in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), particularly with regard to the creation and maintenance of certain records and the conduct of certain affirmative action obligations, have been eliminated or made more flexible in order to reduce the compliance burden on contractors. To implement changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, the final rule also adopts revisions to the definitions and to the nondiscrimination provisions of the implementing regulations. The specific revisions made, and the rationale for making them, are set forth in the final rule; and (2) OFCCP complied with the applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.