Unlike Section 503 which prescribes a specific OMB form for the voluntary survey, the VEVRAA regulation does not prescribe a form. Rather, it provided sample language for the invitation to self-identify, which you can find under Appendix B of the VEVRAA regulations. Contractors are free to use alternative language. While this language includes the option to select “I am NOT a protected veteran,” by including in parentheses “I served in the military but do not fall into any veteran categories listed above” in your selection, you now no longer have an option for those who are non-veterans. You might want to tweak the selections to include: a) veteran – protected, b) veteran - non-protected, and c) non-veteran. There is nothing non-compliant about identifying veterans who are not in the protected categories defined. In fact, there is merit in knowing and discussing with OFCCP that you have other veterans in your workforce beyond protected veterans. At the end of the day, the point and purpose of the regulations is to provide employment opportunities to veterans. Secondly, the category “active wartime or campaign badge veteran” has also been the subject of discussion. The infographic OFCCP released on Am I a Protected Veteran? states that this includes any veteran who has “served on active duty during one or more of the periods of war as outlined in 38 U.S.C. § 101.” That statute defines a “period of war” to include the Persian Gulf War, which is from August 2, 1990 to the present. Given this definition, anyone who has served on active duty since 1990 could be considered a protected veteran. The problem is, without providing this explanation, some applicants and employees who by definition are protected veterans may not know that and end up not selecting that option. So you may have a protected veteran picking the “I am not a protected veteran” category. Having three options for protected vets, vets but not protected, and non-vets, would be helpful. That being said, if you want to identify non-protected veterans, you might want to fine-tune the language. A former member of the Army Reserves, who was never "activated," for example, is neither a veteran nor a protected-veteran but would seemingly fall under the category of "serving in the military."
You can use this OFCCP audit checklist to ensure you're doing what is required to maintain OFCCP's regulations including VEVRAA, Section 503, and EO 11246. Or request a demo to streamline your compliance and recruiting efforts.