Federal contractors and subcontractors have numerous affirmative action obligations and only so much time each day to devote to compliance. As a result, some requirements may tend to fall by the wayside as contractors focus on the more critical issues of ensuring equal employment opportunities in matters such as hiring, promotions, and pay. Even the smallest of the technical regulatory obligations, however, are important and serve a purpose—and, in fact, they can significantly enhance contractors’ affirmative action efforts by requiring regular, critical review and analysis of personnel practices.
The regulations that updated Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 took effect on March 24, 2014. These updates required federal contractors and subcontractors to invite their employees to voluntarily self-identify their status as an individual with a disability using the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) official invitation, Form CC-305.
The year 2018 brought increased activity and significant changes to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), including the appointment of new Director Craig E. Leen and the arrival of 12 new directives.
In addition to posting the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster, federal contractors and subcontractors that enter into new or modified federal contracts on or after January 11, 2016, must also post the EEO is the Law Poster Supplement.
Every compliance evaluation that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) conducts begins with a scheduling letter. The letter notifies the contractor that it has been selected for an audit and identifies the contractor establishment to be audited. The letter is accompanied by an Itemized Listing of data to be submitted to OFCCP for review concerning the contractor’s affirmative action compliance.
In 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) tackled what many believe was its most ambitious agenda since the agency’s inception. In 2016, we can expect more of the same—the Obama administration continuing to foist its most desired workplace policies on federal contractors whenever it doesn’t have the votes in Congress to pass laws that would apply more generally to U.S. employers. The following is a summary of some of the more significant OFCCP initiatives slated to take effect in 2016.
In a complaint filed on June 17, 2015, OFCCP alleges that a staffing agency that supplies laborers to work for federal prime construction contractors at the prime contractors’ construction sites, permitted the prime contractors’ supervisors to harass the staffing agency’s Hispanic employees. According to the complaint, WMS Solutions, LLC, also discriminated against non-Hispanic applicants in hiring; discriminated against female, black, and white employees regarding pay; and failed to maintain personnel and employment records for two years.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board has found that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) lacks jurisdiction over Florida Hospital of Orlando, a TRICARE health services provider, based on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). OFCCP v. Florida Hospital of Orlando (FHO), DOL ARB, No. 11-011 (October 19, 2012).
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that administers and enforces the federal affirmative action laws, has become reenergized and refocused during the Obama administration. The OFCCP has new leadership, is better staffed, better funded, and more motivated than in any previous administration in recent history.