On June 18, the Department of Labor’s Veteran’ Employment and Training Service’s new rules for federal contractors took effect. Under the new regulations, employers with federal contracts of $100,000 or more entered into on or after December 1, 2003 must file the new VETS-100A report. Employers with federal contracts of $25,000 or more that predate December 1, 2003 must continue to file the current VETS-100 form. Unfortunately, contractors with both types of contracts must file both forms. Federal contractors should begin collecting and maintaining the data prescribed by the new regulations as soon as possible. However, contractors will not be required to file the VETS-100A form until September 30, 2009.
The new form reflects the updated protected categories of veterans and also alters the list of job categories to conform with changes made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to its EEO-1 form. The primary differences between the VETS-100 Report and the VETS 100A Report include:
- The category of “Special Disabled Veterans” has been changed to “Disabled Veterans,” and “Vietnam Era Veterans” has been replaced with “Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans.”
- Because of the expansion of the definition of “Recently Separated Veterans” to include individuals up to three years after their discharge or release, contractors are now required to collect data on all current employees who fall into this category, not just new hires.
- There is a new column asking for contractors’ total number of employees, both veterans and non-veterans, by job category.
- The “Officials and Managers” job category is now divided into “Executive/Senior Level Officials and Managers” and “First/Mid Level Officials and Managers” in order to be consistent with the EEO-1 form.
Definitions of the four protected categories of veterans are included in the instructions accompanying the VETS-100A form. Although the Final Rule does not address the question of whether contractors must re-survey their workforces to collect the new data, in order to obtain the data requested, it is likely that contractors will now have to re-survey their workforce using the new categories as defined. VETS may provide guidance on this issue in the future.