The University of Texas at Austin is a federal government supply and service contractor subject to the Affirmative Action requirements of Executive Order 11246, as amended, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, Section 4212. Because The University of Texas at Austin has $50,000 or more in annual contracts with the federal government and employs 50 or more employees, we are required to prepare annual written Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs) for Minorities and Women, for covered Veterans, and for individuals with a disability. Failure to comply with these laws and their implementing regulations, which are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), can result in debarment of the University from future contracts and subcontracts.
Affirmative Action is a term that encompasses any measure adopted by and implemented by the employer to correct or to compensate for past or present discrimination or to prevent discrimination from recurring in the future. Affirmative Action goes beyond the simple termination of a discriminatory practice.
As stipulated in federal regulations, a prerequisite to the development of a satisfactory Affirmative Action Plan is the evaluation of opportunities for the representation of protected group members, as well as an identification and analysis of problem areas inherent in their employment. Also, where a statistical analysis of the employee workforce reveals a percentage of underrepresentation of minorities or women, greater than would reasonably be expected by their availability, an adequate AAP details specific affirmative action steps to guarantee equal employment opportunity. These steps are keyed to the problems and needs of protected group members. For minorities and women, such steps include the development of goals and timetables to rectify underrepresentation where found. It is toward this end that the following AAP of The University of Texas at Austin was developed.
Applicable Affirmative Action Laws and Regulations
The University of Texas at Austin’s AAP for Minorities and Women (Part I) has been prepared according to Executive Order No. 11246, as amended, and Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60-1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Duties of Government Contractors), Part 60-2 (Affirmative Action Programs of Government Non-Constructions; also known as “Revised Order No.4”), and Part 60-20 (Sex Discrimination Guidelines for Government Contractors). The University of Texas at Austin has developed separately an Affirmative Action Plan for covered Veterans and individuals with a disability (Part II) prepared in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503, as amended and Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60-741 (Affirmative Action Program for Handicapped Persons), the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, Section 4212, as amended, and Title 41 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60-300 (Affirmative Action Program for Covered Veterans).
The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA), Public Law 105-339, effective October 31, 1998, increased the threshold for coverage under VEVRAA from a contract of $10,000, or more to a contract of $25,000 or more; extended the law’s protection to “Veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign for which a campaign badge was authorized; and, provides temporary (up to one year) protection to veterans who do not have a service connected disability, did not see action in a foreign war, and did not serve during the Vietnam Era.”
The Jobs for Veterans Act (JFVA), Public Law 107-228, effective December 1, 2003, increased the threshold for coverage under 38 U.S.C. §4212 from $25,000 to $100,000; grants VEVRAA protection to those veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985 (62 Fed. Reg. 1209); changes the definition of “recently separated veteran” to “Disabled Veterans”, expanding the coverage to conform to 38 U.S.C §4211(3); and, following publication of the final regulations, requires contractors to post job listings with their local employment service delivery system.
Coverage under affirmative action laws and regulations applies to:
Women and minorities who are recognized as belonging to or identifying with the following race or ethnic groups: Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, and two or more races.
Any veteran who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
Recently separated veterans: any veteran currently within three-years of discharge or release from active duty.
Veterans who received an “Armed Forces Medal”.
Other protected veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Military, ground, naval or air service during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
Any individual with a disability: (1) a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such impairment.