U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Federal Contractor Recognition Program for Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has established the Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award to incentivize federal contractors and subcontractors to hire individuals with disabilities.
The OFCCP is responsible for administering and enforcing various equal employment opportunity laws, including Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of disability and requires contractors to take affirmative action to employ, and advance in employment, qualified individuals with disabilities. Its requirements apply to contractors with a government contract in excess of $15,000.
The Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award seeks to highlight successful practices and strategies that have expanded and improved recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion opportunities of individuals with disabilities. By highlighting the exemplary practices of successful contractors, other covered federal contractors should be encouraged to adopt these or similar practices to support their compliance with mandatory obligations under Section 503.
The Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award will be based on each contractor’s performance over the preceding two year period. Contractor establishments that are granted an award will be provided a two-year moratorium related to scheduled compliance evaluations.
Any contractor who would like to apply for the Award can review the award criteria and application process by clicking on this link.