Well, this new proposed ruling affects hiring persons with disabilities. The OFCCP has published a proposal to improve job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7% of their workforces be people with disabilities.

When hiring, we need to be treating all applicants as if they may have a disability. That way, we are ensuring fair hiring practices to all. But how would we know for certain we’re in compliance with the proposed “7% rule?” The proposed rule includes modifying the invitation for workers to self-identify by requiring that contractors invite all applicants to voluntarily self-identify as an “individual with a disability” at the pre-offer stage of the hiring process. Contractors also will be required to invite post-offer voluntary self-identification and to survey all employees annually in order to ensure the self-identification is anonymous.

To find out where to go to make a public comment, go to

If the rule passes, accommodation requests would also require, for the first time, that contractors develop and implement written procedures for processing requests for reasonable accommodation.

So I don’t think we’re finished with regulations regarding hiring persons with disabilities or affirmative action requirements. As HR Professionals, we must always be sensitive to hiring fairly at all costs so we put ourselves in the best position to be in compliance with the ever changing rules and regulations.

To read the full proposed rule or to submit an invited public comment, go to All comments must be received by Feb 7, 2012.

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