On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its 2016 Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) annual hiring benchmark for the employment of protected veterans by federal contractors and subcontractors. OFCCP’s annual benchmark is one of two types of benchmarks available to federal contractors and subcontractors who must establish a protected veterans hiring benchmark each year.  Since the annual benchmark is based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), OFCCP’s 2016 Benchmark of 6.9% is effective March 4, 2016, the date BLS published its data. Contractors who adopted OFCCP’s 2015 benchmark of 7% between March 4, 2016 and June 15, 2016 (the date of its announcement) may keep the 7% benchmark for 2016.  From June 15, 2016 onward, federal contractors must establish the 6.9% national benchmark or a benchmark calculated in accordance with OFCCP guidelines.

Contractors who choose to establish an individualized hiring benchmark must calculate the benchmark using national and state information and a five-factor method available on OFCCP’s website.  National and state information for 2016 has been updated in OFCCP’s VEVRAA Benchmark Database and is accessible at https://ofccp.dol-esa.gov/errd/VEVRAA.jsp.

Since it was imposed in 2014, the VEVRAA Benchmark has decreased slightly each year.  Beginning March 24, 2014, the benchmark was 7.2%.  It decreased to 7% on April 21, 2015, and now has decreased to 6.9% effective March 4, 2016.

MALY consultants would be happy to answer questions about the 2016 benchmark, the VEVRAA benchmark in general, or any other OFCCP compliance issue.