U.S. Federal contractors and subcontractors must prepare their VETS-4212 submission for a September 30th deadline every year. In this article, we use the 5 W’s to understand the complete story regarding VETS-4212, and turn scrambling towards the submission deadline into an organized process for gathering and reporting your required information.
Failure to submit the required VETS-4212 reporting can lead to sanctions for non-compliant Federal contractors or subcontractors. Federal legislation forbids Federal Contracting Officers to award or modify Federal contracts unless the current VETS Reports have been submitted, and information on the non-compliance will be provided to OFCCP.
1. Why the VETS-4212 reporting requirement?
The VETS-4212 reporting requirement originated from the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) law of 1974 that requires employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts meeting a spending threshold to provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for covered veterans. The law came into being because Vietnam-era veterans were frequently the target of discriminatory employment practices.
Currently, federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts valued at greater than $150,000 are required to annually report employment data for protected Veterans in their employ. The US Congress is pushing agencies to pay closer attention to veteran’s programs because so many veterans are returning from combat with service-related disabilities.
For more on VEVRAA: ‘Viva VEVRAA: 10 Fast FAQs to Comply with Confidence‘
2. What are the reporting requirements?
There is no employee count threshold for filing the VETS-4212, the only threshold is the $150,000 in federal contracts or sub-contracts. The “hiring location” is a single, physical location of a company that conducts business and is a relatively permanent establishment. This requirement is the same as for EEO-1. Federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ knowledge of veteran’s status may be obtained in a variety of ways, including the following:
- In response to an invitation to self-identify in accordance with 41 CFR part 61-300.2 (b) (2).
- Voluntary self-disclosures by covered incumbent veterans
- Actual knowledge of an employee’s veteran status by a contractor or subcontractor
3. Who to include in reporting?
All full and part-time employees should be included in the report. The term “employee” shall not include persons who are hired on a casual basis for a specified time, or for the duration of a specified job, or persons temporarily employed in any industry other than construction, such as office workers.
The specific definition of employee, as defined by regulation, can be found at 41 CFR part 61-300.2 (b) (2).
Also on the blog: ‘3 Reasons to Monitor Your Affirmative Action Plan (And 3 Ways to Do It Well)‘
4. When do I need to file?
By regulation, the VETS‑4212 Report is due annually on September 30. VETS have occasionally historically announced filing extensions due to natural disasters (e.g. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017). We recommend bookmarking our blog to stay informed about this and other deadlines.
The VETS‑4212 Report allows Federal contractors to select a reporting period based on payroll periods during the third quarter (July 1 – August 31).
Federal contractors may pick any pay period as noted during this quarter to determine their previous 12-month reporting period for defining the reporting year. “Number of Employees” and “New Hires” are reported during this period ending in the current year for which the report is being filed.
5. Where to file
The Department of Labor offers multiple methods for submitting your VETS-4212 reporting:
- Organizations may choose to file electronically and can do so via batch upload. Detailed instructions on electronic filing can be obtained on the VETS-4212 homepage.
- To file by email: VETS4212firstname.lastname@example.org
- To file by mail, return completed report to:
VETS-4212 Service Center; C/O Department of Labor National Contact Center (DOL-NCC)
7425 Boston Blvd
Springfield, VA 2215
From the archives: ‘Diversity Outreach and Recruiting: 6 Companies Getting it Right‘