Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) New Regulations: Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act OFCCP’s New Regulations to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
On September 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published a Final Rule in the Federal Register that makes changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503) at 41 CFR Part 60-741. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs), and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals. The new rule strengthens the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire IWDs, and improve job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The new rule also makes changes to the nondiscrimination provisions of the regulations to bring them into compliance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The new Section 503 regulations became effective on March 24, 2014. However, contractors with a written affirmative action program (AAP) already in place on the effective date have additional time to come into compliance with the AAP requirements. This compliance structure seeks to provide contractors the opportunity to maintain their current AAP cycle.