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OFCCP Compliance: Self-Identification of Disability Form

800px-US-OFCCP-logoGovernment contractors should be aware that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued an official Self-Identification of Disability Form (“Form”). The Form is the product of the OFCCP’s final regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that require covered federal contractors to invite applicants and employees to self-identify as an individual with a disability.(1)

The Form instructs the reader that the contractor is to report disability information, but the disclosure of such information by the applicant or employee is completely voluntary and cannot be used against them in any way. The Form further provides a non-exhaustive list of possible disabilities including, but not limited to, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, missing limbs or partially missing limbs, schizophrenia, autism, HIV/AIDS, blindness, deafness, and obsessive compulsive disorder.(1)

According to the OFCCP, “contractors are encouraged to provide additional information about reasonable accommodation at the same time they invite voluntary self-identification of disability. This may include the name and contact information of the official(s) responsible for processing requests for reasonable accommodation from applicants and employees with disabilities, and information about the contractor’s reasonable accommodation procedures.(2) Examples of reasonable accommodations include changing the application process or work procedures, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.(1) Contractors may not alter the content of the OFCCP’s voluntary self-identification form, but are encouraged to provide such reasonable accommodation information with the form.”(2)

The regulations require that contractors extend applicants and employees three separate invitations to self-identify their disability status:

1. At the pre-offer pre-employment stage

Under the new disability AAP rules,a contractor must invite applicants to inform the contractor whether the applicant believes that he or she is an individual with a disability. This invitation must be provided to each applicant when the applicant applies or is considered for employment. The invitation may be included with the application materials for a position, but must be separate from the application.

  2. At the post-offer pre-employment stage

At any time after the offer of employment, but before the applicant begins his or her duties, the contractor must invite the applicant to inform the contractor whether the applicant believes that he or she is an individual with a disability.

3. Every five years thereafter (including the first year the contractor is covered by the regulations).

The contractor also must invite each of its employees to voluntarily inform the contractor whether the employee believes that he or she is an individual with a disability. The invitation must be extended the first year the contractor becomes subject to the requirements of the new disability AAP rules and at five year intervals thereafter. At least once during the intervening years between these invitations, the contractor must remind their employees that they may voluntarily update their disability status.(2)

Contractors must “keep all information on self- identification confidential, and must maintain it in a data analysis file (rather than in the medical files of the individual employees).” Contractors must “provide self- identification forms to OFCCP upon request” and “self- identification information may be used only in accordance” with AAP rules.(2)

Although contrary to most HR professionals’ training and experience, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the OFCCP’s requirement that contractors invite applicants to self-identify as individuals with disabilities at the pre-offer stage is not a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.(2)

To view the form, please follow this link:  Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form


(1) Clarke, Matthew W., Goodman, Peter G., Hill, Patricia J. and Watson, Jeffrey P. “Government Contractors: OFCCP Issues Self-Identification Disability Form.” February 3, 2014: Lexology.com

(2) Scheck, Stephanie N. “OFCCP Releases New “Voluntary Self-Identification Of Disability” Form.” February 12, 2014: Lexology.com

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