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OFCCP Releases Revised Disability Survey Form

by | May 11, 2020

OFCCP has released a revised version of the survey form used to collect disability information from applicants and employees. The previous version of this form had expired on January 31, 2020. The revised form has an expiration date of May 31, 2023.

OFCCP Outlines Changes to Survey Form

In a supporting statement, OFCCP discussed the changes made to the disability survey form.

“The agency…made changes to the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form, in an overall effort to increase the response rate on the form.  These changes to this information collection instrument include softening the tone of the form to make the language more positive, updating and alphabetizing the types of disability, shortening the form to one page, adding an optional employee identification field, adding a box that employers may modify for internal recordkeeping purposes, and removing the reasonable accommodation notice.”

The changes to the survey form do not substantively change the nature of the form. However, the form should now be easier for employers, applicants, and employees to use.

Revised Survey Form MUST Be In Use by August 4

OFCCP has given federal contractors and subcontractors until August 4, 2020 to fully implement the use of the new survey form. In a notice on its website, OFCCP recognizes that “federal contractors and subcontractors will require time to incorporate the revised form into their electronic systems.” Until that time, federal contractors and subcontractors must continue to use the survey form that expired in January of 2020.

Employers should begin to make plans to implement the use of the revised survey form as soon as possible. HR information system and applicant tracking system vendors will need to be informed that the revised survey form must be in place by August 4. Any process used to on-board new employees should also incorporate the revised survey form.

OFCCP’s regulations regarding individuals with disabilities state that federal contractors and subcontractors MUST use the agency’s approved survey form. As with the previous survey form, OFCCP is unlikely to accept any significant alterations in the use of the revised form. Surveying of applicants, surveying of new employees, and resurveys of the workforce should all use OFCCP’s approved form.

Federal contractors and subcontractors that fail to implement the revised survey form should expect to be cited by the agency during any compliance review under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. (This is the law requiring affirmative action for individuals with disabilities.) The responsibility for ensuring the revised survey form is being used will fall on federal contractors and subcontractors, and not on HR information system or applicant tracking system vendors. Employers should NOT assume that their vendors are familiar with federal regulatory requirements. Vendors may be unaware of the changes to the disability survey form, and may be slow to integrate the form into their systems.

Survey Form Should Only Be Used By Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Federal contractors and subcontractors must survey applicants and employees for disability status. However, organizations that are not covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act should NOT survey applicants for disability status. The section of the American with Disabilities Act that prohibits inquiry of disability information from applicants remains in place. Federal contractors and subcontractors were given permission to survey applicants when the disability regulations were last revised.