In an effort to facilitate response efforts for COVID-19, Director Craig Leen of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it is issuing a national interest exemption on March 17, 2020, to new supply and service and construction contracts entered into from March 17, 2020, through June 17, 2020. The national interest exemption allows a modification to the equal opportunity clauses, which relieves contractors and subcontractors from all affirmative action obligations, for covered contracts.
The national interest exemption does not apply to the processing of complaints of discrimination or exempt federal contractors from their obligations under other federal, state, or local civil rights laws.
OFCCP has also published FAQs and resources for new contractors on its website.
Ogletree Deakins’ Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group will report on any further developments with regard to OFCCP’s COVID-19 National Interest Exemption on the firm’s Affirmative Action/OFCCP blog and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center.