The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced that 2,250 supply and service contractor establishments would be scheduled for compliance reviews. OFCCP has identified 1,000 of these reviews as promotions and accommodations focused reviews (i.e., 500 promotions focused reviews and 500 accommodations focused reviews).
On September 23, 2020, OFCCP published separate landing pages providing information on the new focused reviews. The landing pages offer a limited variety of resources—with more to come—that will assist covered contractors in preparing for and responding to these reviews.
The Promotions Focused Reviews landing page begins with a discussion of studies examining “the existence of a ‘glass ceiling’ that keeps qualified individuals, such as women of color or people with disabilities, from rising to higher positions in their workplaces.” OFCCP intends to use these focused reviews to find and remedy discriminatory promotion decisions by reviewing contractor promotion-related data, policies, and procedures, and ensuring that contractors are meeting their equal employment opportunity obligations. The landing page states that compliance officers will also use promotions focused reviews to review employee personnel files, interview managers and employees, and review hiring and compensation systems to determine if qualified applicants are being steered into lower-paid positions with limited mobility.
The landing page also provides links to OFCCP’s Focused Review Directive 2018-04, OFCCP’s general focused review web page, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and OFCCP’s web page offering Executive Order 11246 resources. The page states that a sample on-site review guide and a sample focused review report are both “coming soon.”
In addition to launching the promotions focused reviews page, OFCCP also published its Accommodations Focused Reviews landing page, which offers links to OFCCP’s general focused review web page, FAQs, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s web page on religious discrimination and accommodation. OFCCP will publish voluntary best practices, as well as a sample on-site review guide and focused review report, in the coming months.
The FAQs for accommodations focused reviews note that OFCCP is conducting the reviews to “bring attention to contractor nondiscrimination obligations in the areas of religion and disability.” During a focused review, OFCCP will examine “a contractor’s policies and procedures related solely to the provision of religious and disability accommodations” and conduct interviews with applicants, employees, and managers involved in the accommodation process. The FAQs also provide guidance on accommodation requests and when contractors may use an undue hardship defense.
Contractors identified on OFCCP’s recent Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) for promotions and/or accommodations focused reviews may want to review OFCCP’s new materials to ensure compliance with all regulatory obligations, as well as prepare to receive and respond to scheduling letters once OFCCP begins issuing them.