Federal Contractor 503

Section 503 and Your Business

No matter how large or small, all federal contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in federal contracts should understand Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended).

What is Section 503?

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended to help federal contractors recruit, hire, and improve job opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities.

The amendments to 503 became effective on March 24, 2014.  Section 503 now establishes goals, requires that contractors document and provide updates on the number of individuals with disabilities who apply for jobs and the number hired, and requires that contractors invite applicants and existing employees to self-identify as individuals with disabilities.

Benefits to Business

These new regulations provide a great opportunity for businesses to increase their diversity, access a relatively untapped talent pool and improve their bottom line!

Did you know that studies have shown the hiring of people with disabilities provides increased retention, lower training costs and turnover, access to new business markets and increased innovation?  Adding these benefits to the advantage of having a more diverse workplace makes business sense.

What Your Business Can Do

You are probably already doing many things related to Section 503. Here are some tools and resources to enjoy all the benefits of Section 503 and comply with the law.

  • This US DOL tool helps you determine if your business is required to comply with 503 and to understand obligations.
  • Sign up for TAP (Talent Acquisition Portal). This online tool is for federal contractors and all businesses looking to find talented candidates with disabilities.  With TAP you can view candidates’ resumes and post jobs, view metrics, participate in online job fairs and place banner advertisements.
  • This 503 Self Evaluation/Compliance tool is offered through Disability:IN and is an online, confidential tool the makes it easy to determine where your business stands with 503’s Affirmative Action Plan.