New U.S. Labor Department rules are expected to alter hiring practices for war veterans and handicapped individuals at almost 200,000 federally contracted companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The updated regulations now mandate government contractors across many industries to have disabled workers constituting at least 7% of their workforce, and veterans 8% of total employees. The rate that may change as the total number of former military workers changes, the Associated Press reports. The new rules will take effect in six months.
“Too many people with disabilities have lived on the economic margins for too long,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.
The latest guidelines were criticized by employers who say merely setting a “numerical goal” does not help the cause. The rules will also be an invasion of privacy on job applications with questions on “their physical and mental condition,” Daniel Yager, president of the HR Policy Association said.