Are you ready to hire 7% of your Workforce?

By: Amira Fahmy, Director of Community Development

In part two of our series of Proposed OFCCP Regs & What They Mean for You, we are going to discuss the big bad 7%. Since the proposed regulatory changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act came out in 2011, federal contractors and subcontractors have been very concerned about the proposed hiring goal for individuals with disabilities.

For the first time ever, all federal contractors would be required to set a hiring goal of having 7% of their workforce be people with disabilities. A requirement that high is unprecedented, and it blows the current system out of the water. As it currently stands, contractors are able to set their own placement goals as part of their Affirmative Action Program.

Several employers have spoken out against this proposed change claiming that it would cause undue hardship on their companies. Based on the response from employers and the difficulty the proposed hiring goal would create, several experts believe OFCCP will reduce the percentage (possibly by half) before the new regulation comes out.

Speculation aside, there is no way of knowing what the requirements will be until the new regulation is released and employers should begin preparing now. An update on this proposed regulation was expected from OFCCP last month, but nothing has been released to date.