The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies to federal agencies, federal employers, programs receiving federal financial assistance, and federal contractors and subcontractors. Section 503 of the Act applies to employers who have contracts of more than $15,000 (adjusted for inflation). It prohibits discrimination of the disabled and requires affirmative action to employ and advance employees with disabilities. Section 503 also requires federal contractors to offer applicants the opportunity to self-identify as a person with a disability. It requires them to offer the same to employees within their first year of hire and requires that they subsequently make the same offer in five-year intervals. In addition, they must make at least one invitation in intervening years stating that employees may self-identify at any time. Depending on the size of the employer, organizations must strive to have individual job groups or the workforce as a whole to have a certain percentage of employees who are disabled. The current rate is seven percent.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has just updated the self-identification form. The form adds examples of disabilities and updates preferred language for disabilities. Employers who are subject to Section 503 must update the form by July 25, 2023.

If you are unsure of which regulations apply to you or have other compliance questions, contact us at  Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC) today!

Magdalena Vigil-Tullar

Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar


Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email:

PO Box 14274 | Albuquerque, NM 87191

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Rehabilitation Act