This week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued regulations and inviting comments. The rules are intended to improve the rate of hiring of veterans by contractors receiving government funds above a certain threshold. The law already prohibits discrimination against veterans and against people in the military reserves.
Still, it is always difficult to prove that the reason someone was not hired is discriminatory. It’s extra hard when the economy is still weak, and there are many applicants for each opening. The unemployment rate for veterans remains stubbornly high.
A mandatory listing of jobs with several employment services is one way that the Department of Labor expects to improve the employment of veterans by contractors. Veterans languishing at state unemployment offices will get access to job listings that may give them a hiring preference. Even if no preference is given, information about openings is helpful. The contractors are also expected to maintain goals for increasing their veteran hiring rate, and of course must report their progress. Reports would have to include “a statement of reasons explaining the circumstances for rejecting protected veterans for vacancies and training programs.”
These proposals impose additional work on contractors, certainly, but by requiring more focus on finding veterans to apply, and scrutinizing why they were overlooked, the end result should be an increase in hiring.