For over a decade, the VETS annual survey form had been revised to accommodate the changes in both the protected veteran categories and the EEO job classifications. Prior to the current VETS 4212 there was the VETS-100 survey form. VETS-100 addressed the protected veteran categories under 41 CFR Section 60-250 and the EEOC’s nine (9) EEO-1 job classifications. Starting with the 2009 VETS filing cycle, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued new requirements for the use of VETS-100A form. This form addressed the changes to the protected veteran categories under Section 60-300, as well as updated the EEO-1 job classifications (i.e., reflecting EEOC’s split of the Officials and Managers category into two classifications: Executives and First Level Managers). For a few years, some federal contractors were filing both VETS-100 and VETS-100A forms within the same reporting cycle. In 2014, all federal contractors were required to file VETS-100A only, eliminating the need to file two (2) survey forms for some. Just a year after, starting with 2015 filing cycle, contractors were then enjoined to use the VETS-4212 form to fulfill their annual veteran reporting obligation. The new form required contractors to report on the number of their protected veterans in the aggregate, further eliminating the need to report workforce count by specific protected veteran category.
With all these revisions to the survey form, the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) seemed to have overlooked one fact: not all federal contractors use the same EEO job classifications and therefore, the EEO-1 job classifications in the survey form do not apply to other types of employers, such as colleges and universities. This article will discuss how colleges and universities, as federal contractors, should maintain their EEO data to better address the different reporting requirements.
Federal statute and regulations require employers to report their workforce data on a regular basis (Section 709[c], Title VII, Civil rights Act of 1967; Section 153 of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 [P.L. 107-279]). Through the EEO surveys, the EEOC collects workforce data for private employers (including federal contractors/subcontractors), local unions, public elementary and secondary school districts, and local and state agencies. On the other hand, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is responsible for collecting workforce information for colleges and universities thru the IPEDS survey. The reporting thresholds and requirements, such as the number of employees, the frequency of reporting, and the job classifications, differ depending on the employer type (i.e., private, local or state, colleges and universities, etc.) – see examples in Table 1 below.
Additionally, federal contractors and subcontractors who meet the $150,000 federal contract threshold, regardless of the total number of employees, are required to annually file the VETS-4212 survey (38 U.S. Code, Section 4212, codified at 41 CFR Section 61-300). And like the EEOC’s workforce survey, VETS-4212 also requires federal contractors to report their workforce data (protected and non-protected veterans) by job classifications.
Maintaining Records to Address VETS 4212 Reporting for Colleges and Universities
VETS 4212 survey requires contractors to separately report, within each EEO-1 job classification, 1) the total number of employees and new hires; and 2) the total number of employees and new hires who belong in the protected veteran categories (see VETS-4212 form here). Unfortunately, because the VETS 4212 report only conforms to private employers’ EEO-1 job classifications and (at least for now) does not provide options for reporting other job classifications, such as those used by colleges and universities (refer to Table 1 above), it is important to keep in mind that additional recordkeeping efforts are necessary to ensure that reporting requirements can be fulfilled efficiently. Private employment contractors are able to easily address multiple EEO reporting requirements, such as, AAP development, annual EEOC workforce survey, and VETS 4212 survey with a single effort of categorizing their jobs into the EEO-1 classifications. In contrast, colleges and universities will have to remember to categorize and maintain their job information in two ways: 1) by IPEDS categories to address their annual AAP development obligation and the IPEDS filing requirements; and 2) by EEO-1 job classifications to address VETS 4212 filing requirements.
While this could understandably be frustrating to those who are tasked of categorizing the jobs, — fear not. As a start, most IPEDS categories already have direct linkage to the EEO-1 job classifications and therefore, it lessens the burden of reviewing and re-categorizing every single job in the organization. Following is the list of IPEDS categories that can be directly linked to the EEO-1 job classifications:
For the remaining IPEDS classifications that do not have direct linkage, here are some of the best practices when reviewing jobs for the purpose of categorizing them into EEO-1 job classification:
- Consider the function of the job (i.e., the duties and responsibilities of the person handling the job) rather than strictly relying on the job title. For example, a Maintenance Engineer might be appropriately categorized in the Professionals or in the Service Workers category. Does the person in the job have a bachelor’s or a graduate degree and/or professional certification and is responsible for repair and maintenance of equipment in the facility or is he/she responsible for the upkeep of safe, clean, and healthy work spaces?
- Review the definitions of the EEO-1 job classifications. It provides good guidance on the types of jobs that can be appropriately assigned to each category.
- Consider the currently assigned IPEDS category. The IPEDS category is good a starting point when considering an appropriate EEO-1 job classification. For example, EEO-1 category choices for jobs in the Management Occupations can be narrowed down to either Executive/Senior Level Officials or to First/Mid Level Managers.
- Don’t be afraid to change the IPEDS category if needed. Remember, this effort should not be geared towards classifying the jobs into EEO-1 categories only, it is also an opportunity to make adjustments to current IPEDS assignments (when necessary).
- Get help. When it becomes apparent that the exercise is too overwhelming, it is best to get advice and/or help from the experts.
Remember, the 2017 VETS 4212 filing cycle starts on August 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017. For additional information or questions regarding VETS 4212 filing, you may contact customer support at:
1-866-237-0275 or VETS4212firstname.lastname@example.org
Filing your VETS 4212
The 2017 filing will start on August 1, 2017 and ends on September 30, 2017. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions if you have any question on filing the report or you may send it to:
VETS 4212 Service Center
c/o Department of Labor National Contact Center (DOL-NCC)
7425 Boston Blvd.
Springfield, VA 22153
The staff at Biddle Consulting Group can also help you with any of your questions or reporting needs.
 Contractors with contracts entered prior to December 1, 2003 must file VETS-100 and VETS-100A for contracts entered after December 1, 2003. Some federal contractors held multiple contracts with effective dates either prior to or after December 1, 2003, requiring them to file both VETS-100 and VETS-100A survey forms.