Will the Real Protected Veteran Please Stand Up?
In light of some recent buzz centered on OFCCP’s infographic for determining protected veteran status, we wanted to clarify our last post and confirm that OFCCP did not change the definition of any veteran categories. As OFCCP and the Solicitor’s Office acknowledged, only Congress can implement such a change; however, OFCCP’s interpretation of protected veteran under VEVRAA was broadened as indicated by the infographic. This is great news for the federal contracting community, as it provides much needed clarity on who classifies as a protected veteran!
With this new resource in hand, contractors should consider the following:
- The Persian Gulf War era (August 2, 1990 – present) is considered a “period of war”. Hence, the “recently separated” protected veteran category becomes irrelevant since, at this time, they would fall under the “Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge” category. If you collect separation dates, this does not mean you have to or should stop. It simply means that, for now, you can include these individuals in your 44k analytics and VETS-4212 reporting regardless of the three year discharge requirement.
- By providing this infographic when soliciting protected status, there may be an increase in self-ID responses due to incumbents and/or applicants having a better understanding of the categories. Therefore, if you already surveyed your workforce, is it worth resurveying and including this infographic?
In sum, all federal contractors should embrace this broadened interpretation and not fear using it in an effort to increase awareness, understanding, and self-ID responses!
By Yevonessa Hall, Consultant and Brittany Dian, HR Analyst at DCI Consulting Group