Similar to its September 17, 2018, National Interest Exemption (NIE) for certain contractors providing Hurricane Florence Relief, on October 11, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a another NIE for new contracts specifically to provide Hurricane Michael relief.
Under the NIE, contracting agencies will use modified equal employment opportunity (EEO) clauses in contracts entered into specifically to provide Hurricane Michael relief. If an employer enters into a construction or supply and service government contract that is specifically related to Hurricane Michael relief and incorporates these modified EEO clauses, the employer will not be required to develop affirmative action programs as is generally required by Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. However, employers are still required to:
- post the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law notice;
- keep and retain records as required by the three laws OFCCP enforces; and
- list employment openings with the employment service delivery system (ESDS) as VEVRAA requires.
In addition, OFCCP will contact contractors with open compliance evaluations in areas impacted by Hurricane Michael regarding the status of their evaluation and next steps.
The National Interest Exemption waiver extends for three months and will apply to relevant contracts entered into through January 11, 2019—subject to extension. OFCCP also recently published frequently asked questions addressing the details of the National Interest Exemption on its website.
Ogletree Deakins’ Disaster Resource Center provides more information on disaster relief efforts and preparedness resources regarding major disasters such as Hurricane Michael. The Disaster Resource Center also offers employers information to assist in preparing for business interruptions and recovery in the aftermath of any devastating event.