On Friday, May 8, 2020, the OFCCP announced the approval of a revised self-identification form for use in soliciting identification as an individual with a disability or history of a disability. Covered federal contractors have until August 4, 2020 to incorporate the new form “into their applicant and employee systems and processes.” Until the form is incorporated, contactors should continue using the self-identification form that expired on January 31, 2020.
As with the prior two versions of the self-identification form, contractors have very limited leeway to make changes to the form, because the specific content and layout are approved by the Office of Management and Budget. However, the OFCCP stated it has taken into account stakeholder feedback as part of its revision process.
While the changes are subtle, the OFCCP believes that the streamlined form will increase the response rate of employees and applicants who choose to voluntarily identify their disability status. In addition to moving to a one-page form, the agency has revised the list of physical or mental conditions that may constitute a disability. Of note, the form added conditions such as Celiac disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, and bi-polar disorder either by themselves or as examples of classes of conditions such as autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, or psychiatric conditions. Because contractors have found that some applicants and employees with qualifying conditions have not understood that for Section 503 purposes they qualify as a person with a disability, this revision could increase the response rate. The revised introductory section of the form now mentions that contractors are required to measure their progress of having at least seven percent of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Some contractors have found that giving employees more information about the reasons why they are asking employees to self-identify increases response rates, so this change could also be beneficial.
One change may be confusing to contractors – the bottom of the form now includes a section that allows minimal modification for employer recordkeeping purposes. While this update may be helpful for employers using paper copies of the form, it will likely be of limited use for employers that incorporate the form into their electronic applicant tracking or HRIS systems. The OFCCP may issue more guidance on this section of the form in their frequently asked questions. The current questions and answers involving the approved alterations and use of the form can be found here.