Norfolk Southern is a government contractor and as such must abide by federal affirmative action laws regarding the hiring and employment of individuals with disabilities and veterans. NS ensures these individuals receive equal opportunity to compete for positions for which they are qualified.
Federal affirmative action requirements
NS follows both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibits employment discrimination against Vietnam-era veterans and certain disabled veterans.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and VEVRAA not only prohibit discrimination but requires government contractors such as NS to exercise affirmative action in employing individuals with disabilities and promoting veterans.
FAQs on affirmative action
Do Section 503 and VEVRAA mean veterans and disabled individuals get preferential treatment?
No. NS does not give preferential treatment to these individuals in hiring or promotions nor does NS have to meet any hiring or promotion quotas. Rather, NS must make an effort to seek out individuals with disabilities and covered veterans and make sure they have equal opportunity to compete for positions for which they are qualified.
How does NS meet its Section 503 and VEVRAA obligations?
NS promotes affirmative action by networking with public agencies, educational institutions, and private organizations that provide education, training, and job placement to individuals with disabilities and veterans. NS actively publicizes its affirmative action policies in job ads, promotional advertising, and in recruiting efforts.
How does affirmative action impact screening and hiring?
NS invites applicants to complete an invitation to self-identify as a person with a disability and protected veteran status on a voluntary basis.
NS periodically reviews its personnel processes to make sure there are no barriers preventing any individual from receiving full consideration for employment opportunities at the company and makes sure that physical and mental qualifications for open positions are actually justified by the requirements of the jobs. During job interviews, NS does not ask inappropriate questions about disabilities and makes candidates aware that the company will offer reasonable accommodations for disabilities.
After receiving a job offer, NS invites successful candidates to identify themselves as being covered by Section 503 and/or VEVRAA on a voluntary basis.
How does affirmative action work after the hiring process?
NS ensures that protected individuals receive full and fair consideration for promotions and receive fair performance evaluations. That means they receive consideration for promotions exactly as a nondisabled employee would. NS' affirmative action policies ensure covered individuals receive the same pay, as well as equivalent benefits and training opportunities, as other employees performing the same job.
How does NS address reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities?
NS has made and will continue to make reasonable accommodations, which do not impose undue hardships on its business, to the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified employees and job applicants.
How does NS meet its affirmative action obligations?
NS makes sure all employees are aware of the company’s commitment to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and covered veterans and requires employees to refrain from harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. The company continually educates and monitors personnel involved in the recruitment, screening, selection, promotion, and discipline of protected employees as well.