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New White House Rules Aim to Improve Employment of Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities

Wednesday, August 28, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stefani Wilcox
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New White House Rules Aim to Improve Employment of Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities Amongst Federal Contractors

The White House announced two new rules that are an historic advancement for veterans and individuals with disabilities.By strengthening longstanding regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the new rules will ensure that qualified workers have more meaningful opportunities to find, secure, and keep good jobs. The Section 503 rules will require contractors to establish a 7% utilization benchmark for employment of individuals with disabilities.

"In a competitive job market, employers need access to the best possible employees," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These rules make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates."

"Strengthening these regulations is an important step toward reducing barriers to real opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities," said Patricia A. Shiu, director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which enforces both laws.

After more than twenty years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the unemployment rate of people with disabilities remains high at 14.7 percent, nearly double the rate of people without disabilities at 7.4 percent. Further, people with disabilities have a workforce participation rate of only 20.3 percent.

The rules will be published shortly in the Federal Register and will take effect 180 days later.

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