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OFCCP Issues Directive Regarding Employment of Military Spouses
On November 8, 2019, OFCCP issued Directive 2020-01, which is labelled “Spouses of Protected Veterans.” The directive states that federal contractors and subcontractors must not discriminate against qualified individuals who are the spouses of protected veterans.
The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requires federal contractors or subcontractors to take affirmative action to recruit and employ certain classes of veterans. VEVRAA also prohibits discrimination against these protected veterans. The federal regulation implementing VEVRAA are found in chapter 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
41 CFR sec. 60-300.21(e) addresses persons associated with protected veterans. It reads as follows:
It is unlawful for [federal contractors] to exclude or deny equal jobs or benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against, a qualified individual because of the known protected veteran status of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a family, business, social or other relationship or association.
“Military service usually requires multiple and frequent relocations, often creating an employment history that can add challenges to a spouse’s ability to obtain and maintain employment and to achieve career goals,” said OFCCP Director Craig Leen. Directive 2020-01 attempts to promote the employment of military spouses by requiring OFCCP compliance officers to inquire about their employment during onsite investigations. Compliance officers will ask a series of questions relating to this topic and provide a sample policy statement for employers to include in their employee handbooks. The list of questions compliance officers are to ask and the sample policy statement are included in the directive.
Directive 2020-01 can be found on the OFCCP website.