New Analysis of Data Shows No Need for Costly, Complex Hiring Mandates Officials Seek to Impose on Most Federal Contractors

A review of government enforcement data finds no justification for costly and complex new rules governing the hiring of veterans and people with disabilities being proposed by the Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The analysis found that significantly less than one percent of federal contractors covered by the rule may have discriminated against a veteran or person with a disability at any point in the past eight years.

"Federal officials have found an extremely expensive way to solve a problem that barely exists," said Brian Turmail, the spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America, which helped sponsor the review. "The real problem is that our stagnant economy has left too many workers of all types unemployed for too long."

The report found that federal officials, when responding to reported complaints, determined that only 0.02 percent of all federal contractors could be seriously suspected of having discriminated against veterans or people with disabilities. The agency found discrimination among in only 0.01 percent of firms it audited each year as part of its routine compliance review process.

Between 2004 and the first half of 2012, federal officials identified only 63 total instances of possible discrimination against veterans or people with disabilities among the 285,390 federal contractor establishments over which the OFCCP has jurisdiction. The analysis of the federal data was conducted by The Center for Corporate Equality, which has been collecting OFCCP enforcement data since 2004 via Freedom of Information Act requests.

"It is hard to understand how federal officials can justify imposing billions in new regulatory compliance costs on federal contractors when there are fewer than eight violations on average each year," Turmail said. He noted that reports released earlier this year by the construction association and the HR Policy Association concluded that federal officials have significantly underestimated the cost of the proposed new rules.

Turmail added that construction firms were already working aggressively to hire veterans and people with disabilities, noting many employers participate in programs to train and recruit returning veterans or to accommodate individuals with disabilities. He added that many construction firms are struggling to survive the long economic downturn and declining public sector investments in construction.

"It is hard to hire even more veterans or the disabled when many firms are being forced to downsize just to stay in business," Turmail said. "Instead of creating new opportunities for unemployed veterans or the disabled, the administration’s efforts to impose billions in needless new compliance costs will put many current jobs at risk."

View the Center’s report. View OFCCP hiring NPRMs for veterans and people with disabilities.

Associated General Contractors of America