OFCCP launches new resource on Section 503 compliance

It’s now one-stop shopping for Section 503 questions.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs recently launched a new website to provide contractors with assistance in complying with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the law governing contractors’ non-discrimination and affirmative action obligations toward people with disabilities. 

The Section 503 Landing Page is a resource center on the OFCCP’s website that “is intended to provide contractors with helpful information and assistance in implementing best practices and increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities.” 

The website includes a series of links devoted to explaining what to expect during a Section 503 focused review. As we discussed in August 2018, the OFCCP issued a Directive describing its intention to select some contractors for compliance evaluations focused entirely on one of the three laws it enforces. During a Section 503 focused review, a compliance officer reviews policies and practices related solely to Section 503 compliance. The Section 503 Landing Page contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions for contractors who are selected for Section 503 focused reviews, including what to expect, why the reviews are performed, and what information will be reviewed during the reviews. Section 503 focused reviews are expected to begin with the next round of scheduling letters this spring.

The Section 503 Landing Page also links to a short video explaining the importance of disability inclusion in the workplace and encouraging workers to voluntarily self-identify. It also contains several other links geared toward employees with disabilities, including links to a disability rights fact sheet for employees, a pocket card that describes the process for requesting reasonable accommodations, and instructions on how to file a complaint with the OFCCP. 

For contractors, the Section 503 Landing Page links to a list of best practices for creating an inclusive workforce, such as maintaining a centralized accommodation system and offering disability inclusion programs. The best practices page contains a list of (and links to) resources and sample disability inclusion programs. Additionally, the Section 503 Landing Page includes links to the Section 503 regulations, the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form, and contact information for the OFCCP.

Our Affirmative Action Alert blog focuses on the latest news and topics affecting federal contractors and subcontractors and their compliance with affirmative action and other employment-related laws and regulations.  With breaking news, quick updates, and headlines on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and affirmative action issues, this blog is a great resource for in-house counsel, HR managers, and other compliance professionals.  Our blog is a companion to Constangy’s Affirmative Action newsletters, which address significant legislative, regulatory, and administrative proposals and changes.  Subscribe to both to stay current on these important topics!

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