Building on my post of yesterday, Competitive Enterprise Institute scholar Hans Bader makes several additional points about the Department of Labor’s new hiring quotas for disabled workers at federal contractors:
- Under the regulations, Bader points out, contractors will be obliged to aim for a seven percent quota for each division, a significantly harder task than if it were just a company-wide quota.
- Dodgy terminology to conceal the reality of quotas is nothing new; in fact, there’s a long history of federal officials’ resorting to euphemism and vagueness to characterize quotas as benchmarks, goals, and so forth.
- While disabled quotas, unlike racial quotas, do not raise immediate red flags of unconstitutionality, there is serious doubt as to whether they are actually a lawful application of the statutes Congress has passed in this area. While one such law does refer vaguely to affirmative action for the disabled, that does not necessarily provide a broad enough basis to authorize the new scheme.
- Will compliance and paperwork on this and a related veteran-quota measure cost federal contractors $6 billion a year, as the Associated General Contractors of America has it? Or less than one-fifth that sum, as OFCCP insists? And does OFCCP face even the slightest consequences if its estimates turn out to be low-balls and the contractors turn out to be right?
[cross-posted, with adaptations, at Cato at Liberty. Edited final paragraph 9/23 to clarify that two quota programs are involved]