One of the best hiring practices you can have as a contractor is to hire veterans who have served this country. Recruiting these individuals is just the first part, however. Once they are hired, you must track them and keep their information updated with the VETS-4212 Report each year.
What Is the VETS-4212 Report?
Filed each year at the end of September, the VETS-4212 Report is available through any federal contractor used or their subcontractors if applicable. The filing period begins on August 1 of each year, lasting until September 30, providing filers with a two-month period.
The contractors use this form to distinguish the number of veterans employed with them and working throughout the previous year. The purpose of this report is to maintain the working status of vets across various industries. This form has a history dating back to the readjustment Assistance Act of 1874, where federal contractors who employ veterans report these numbers annually.
As of 2000, the Jobs for Veterans Act changed this report, allowing veterans listed and working under these contractors to receive an increase in coverage and redefining veteran categories when the contractors complete the form. New definitions of veterans include the following:
- Recent veterans (separated from active duty 36 months or less)
- Veterans who were awarded a medal for a U.S. military operation while they were on active duty as defined in Executive Order 12985
- Disabled veterans
- Veterans who served on active duty during the war earned campaign badges.
When hiring military veterans, it is essential to know what type of veteran and skill set you are gaining with each hire. These veterans are protected under federal law and should be defined in the VETS-4212 Report by each federal contractor.
Who Has to File?
Not all GovCons have to file the VETS-4212 Report unless you have a contract of $150,000 or higher. As of January 1 of each year, if your company does not have a covered contract with the federal government, you are also not required to file the report.
Requirements for Reporting
Determining who has to file this form has been a bit controversial for some contractors over the years. For those contractors that hire directly and work with their employees every day, it is easy to determine that the person managing the hiring should make the reporting. When it comes to subcontractors, those in charge of hiring for their direct crews should maintain this information and be ready to file the VETS-4212 during the filing period.
Sometimes contracting companies merge or are absolved into another between filing periods. The VETS-4212 form is only required to be completed once, so if your company merged, the new company would be responsible for filing this document unless your company is still using your EIN.
State and Local Governments
When contracting at state and local government levels, the VETS-4212 Report does not need to be reported. Only contracts at the federal government level need to be filed and reported each year.
Types of Contractors Who File
There are several types of contractors and industries that have federal government contracts. These can include everything from construction contracts to insurance and utility services.
- Research contractors
- Construction contractors
- Utility contractors (i.e., gas, water, electricity)
- Transportation contractors
Any contractor that does work of any kind for the federal government must file with a contract over 150,000. If you decide not to file this report, you will not be fined financially, but the consequences will ban you from future contracts with the federal government due to not providing this information.
Filing the VETS-4212 Report
Once you are aware of the VETS-4212 Report and determined that you must file it, there are a few steps to completing the form successfully. It is a single-page form, asking for only limited information regarding the veterans you employ.
You will need to have the following ready when you submit your VETS-4212 Report.
- Are you a single establishment or a multiple establishment contractor?
- Know your NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code
- Are you a contractor or a subcontractor?
- FEIN number and DUNS number
- Distinguish between the number of total employees and the number of protected veterans
- Types of protected veterans that you employ
- Who are new hires in the past 12-month period compared to the total number of protected veterans?
- Minimum and maximum of permanent employees for your contract
Knowing how many protected veterans you employ, how they are categorized, and how many you are hiring annually is what is being tracked on this form. This information is essential to complete the form each year.
Submitting the Form
How you file the report is at your discretion. You have the option to complete a paper version of this form and mail it to the following address:
Veterans' Employment and Training Service Center
Department of Labor National Contact Center (DOL-NCC)
7425 Boston Blvd
Springfield VA 22153
You can also file this form electronically when you visit the VETS-4212 Reporting Application.
You will log in with your account and input the data into the system. Once you have updated it for the past 12 months, you can submit it and print a copy of the submission for your records.
Stay Organized Ahead of Time
Because the VETS-4212 form requires a variety of different and specific information about your hiring practices and those employed, it is essential to keep detailed records throughout the year so that you can file this form accurately each year.
Organize Employee Records
If you are the responsible party assigned to maintain this data each year, some of the best ways to highlight and organize your employees are by the following:
- Veteran Status
- Type of Job or Job Category
- Hiring Date
This information is critical for each protected veteran that is working under your employment. Especially for larger contractors with multiple hiring locations and crews, sorting this data specifically will determine if your form is completed successfully and providing the most accurate information each year.
The VETS-4212 also requires several identification numbers that need to be entered into the system to acknowledge your reporting. Make sure to keep these numbers secure and accessible when the time comes to update this form each year.
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