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FAQs

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive regarding affirmative action.

Affirmative Action FAQs

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Are you a “Covered” Federal Contractor?

When you become a federal contractor or subcontractor, or a qualifying bank or higher educational institution, you may be subject to the nondiscrimination and affirmative provisions of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), among other laws. Your first step should be to review the regulations and determine whether the federal contract(s) or subcontract(s) you hold are subject to these provisions. The regulations can be found on the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) website. OFCCP is the government agency responsible for the enforcement of these laws. You may also visit the OFCCP’s eLaws advisor for a step-by-step guide to determining your status as a federal contractor.

Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors, subcontractors, and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors with contracts that exceed $10,000, from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, or national origin. It also requires covered contractors to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503, requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that exceed $15,000, including construction contractors, to ensure nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of disability and take affirmative action to hire, retain, and promote Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs).

VEVRAA requires federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts or subcontracts of $150,000 or more, including construction contractors, to ensure nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of Protected Veteran (PV) status and take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment Disabled Veterans, Active Duty or Wartime Campaign Badge Veterans, Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans, and Recently Separated Veterans (those discharged from the Service in the past three years).

Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors, subcontractors, and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors with contracts that exceed $10,000, from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, or national origin. It also requires covered contractors to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503, requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that exceed $15,000, including construction contractors, to ensure nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of disability and take affirmative action to hire, retain, and promote Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs).

VEVRAA requires federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts or subcontracts of $150,000 or more, including construction contractors, to ensure nondiscrimination in employment on the basis of Protected Veteran (PV) status and take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment Disabled Veterans, Active Duty or Wartime Campaign Badge Veterans, Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans, and Recently Separated Veterans (those discharged from the Service in the past three years).

(Source: Berkshire’s Summary of Federal Affirmative Action Requirements)

Am I required to have an Affirmative Action Plan?

If you have at least 50 employees and a contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more, a written AAP must be created annually for each establishment that has more than 50 employees. If you have at least 50 employees and a covered contract ($50,000 under Section 503 and $150,000 under VEVRAA), you are required to develop and implement a written AAP for IWDs and PV on an annual basis.

(Source: Berkshire’s Summary of Federal Affirmative Action Requirements)


What is the Internet Applicant rule?

The Internet Applicant rule addresses recordkeeping by federal contractors and subcontractors about the Internet hiring process and the solicitation of race, gender, and ethnicity of "Internet Applicants."

(Source: OFCCP website)

What is the definition of an "Internet Applicant"?

An “Internet Applicant” is an individual who satisfies all four of the following criteria:

  • The individual submitted an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  • The contractor considered the individual for employment in a particular position;
  • The individual’s expression of interest indicated that the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
  • The individual, at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removed himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicated that he/she was no longer interested in the position.

 

(Source: OFCCP website)

What are the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection?

The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) were designed to provide a framework for employers to use in determining the proper use of employment tests and other selection procedures. Consistent selection practices are a critical component to ensuring that your practices are nondiscriminatory. If you do not have a standardized selection process in place, develop procedures with the UGESP guidelines in mind—and establish them as policy. All selection procedures should be reviewed to ensure compliance with these guidelines.

 

(Source: for paragraph language - Berkshire’s Summary of Federal Affirmative Action Requirements)

(Source: for Guidelines)

What is the OFCCP?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OFCCP holds those who do business with the federal government (contractors and subcontractors) responsible for complying with the legal requirement to take affirmative action and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.

 

(Source: OFCCP website)

What are the Different EEO Categories?

What are the different EEO categories?

EEO-1 Categories – Download Definition

EEO-4 Categories – Download Definition

EEO-6 Categories – Download Definition

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