The Committee on Education and the Workforce recently submitted a letter to Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, requesting additional information around the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) December 9, 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding individuals with disabilities.

The letter questions the legal authority permitting the OFCCP to establish a numerical hiring standard as well as concern with instituting a quota. In addition, the Committee goes on to express concern over the NPRM asking job applicants to self-identify as disabled – this conflicts with the statutory language of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This also means relying on accurate self-identification and disclosure during the application process, which, as the letter states, “…has the potential to create more problems than solutions.”

Lastly, the Committee voices concern about the paperwork and recordkeeping that would be required. The letter references a President Obama comment that, “sometimes rules and regulations have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business–burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.”

The letter ends with several inquiries and asks the OFCCP to respond no later than February 10, 2012. In addition, a request was made to extend the NPRM’s comment period by 90 days from the current closing date of February 7, 2012.

View the letter and let us know what you think. What concerns do you have or share with the Committee on Education and the Workforce?

DirectEmployers Association is working diligently to stay on top of this ongoing discussion and will continue to provide helpful resources through webinars coupled with updates and a blog series in the Pipeline (online Member community). Members interested in submitting comments to the OFCCP and learning more about the NPRM and Section 503 can contact Julie Cook at

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