Employers with federal contracts valued at more than $50,000 or those with at least 50 employees face new compliance regulations designed to increase the number of disabled people and veterans in the workforce.

Increasing job opportunities for vets and those with disabilities has been a priority for President Obama and his labor department. Regulations adopted last fall go into effect this week that require federal contractors to ask their workers if they have disabilities. Once all have responded, the contractors have to figure out what percentage of their workforce self-reports as disabled.

The government "target" is 7 percent. Those that don't meet it then need to develop a plan for increasing the number of disabled workers.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.