Federal guidelines and regulations set forth in Section 503 are helping to make a big difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities (IWDs)!
According to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, organizations with federal contractors are required to have a 7% utilization goal for employing individuals with disabilities. The law prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against IWDs, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.
Understanding the importance of compliance is essential, as the consequences of not doing so put your organization at risk of being ineligible for any future government contracts and potential fines. Federal contractors should understand the requirements of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in order to maintain a strong pipeline of contracts and to be eligible to tender for new ones.
What do you need to do to comply with federal guidelines?
Here are five tips to ensure your organization is compliant and audit-ready:
- Keep accurate and up-to-date record-keeping on requests for accommodation
- Keep comprehensive analysis of required documentation relating to employee data
- Have proper documentation of the hiring process from initial posting to making the final decision
- Implement strategies that demonstrate a ‘good faith effort’ to achieve a 7% utilization goal for employing individuals with disabilities
- Have a process for applicants to self-ID or self-disclose
Compliance best practices to maintain prior to being audited
Partnering with a disability employment expert can help you avoid being worried or apprehensive about an audit. As a Getting Hired employer partner, we support your efforts by providing a compliance solution that helps with achieving a 7% utilization goal. Our proactive compliance strategies ensure the following:
- Access to job seekers with disabilities nationwide via a 508-compliant platform
- Tracking of all of your disability recruitment efforts including resume search, job postings and number of applicants
- Engagingin outreach efforts with community organizations such as advocacy groups and service providers who provide services to individuals with disabilities
- Tracking your participation in our Disability Awareness Trainings for an effective and successful recruitment and hiring experience
- Tracking your participation in our Online Career Fairs for direct-to-talent connection
- Creation of a disability-welcoming employer brand via awareness on our website, social media channels and participation in events
- Providing customized reporting, a letter of good standing to the OFCCP, and a five year audit trail even if our partnership has ended
- A dedicated Account Manager who works with you to create a strategy to help increase self-ID among your staff
Being audit-ready shows your commitment to ensuring a workforce inclusive of IWDs by having a process in place that quantify and measure your efforts. This article is designed to familiarize you with best practices for staying compliant and should not be used in lieu of legal advice.
Connect with our expert team here to learn how we can support your compliance needs and be your full-service disability hiring solution.