OFCCP has requested approval from the Office of Management and Budget to begin conducting compliance checks of construction contractors. The request contains two construction compliance check letters, one for contractors that have direct federal contracts and one for contractors on federally assisted construction contracts. A direct federal contract is one that is with a federal agency for construction services; a federally assisted contract is for construction services funded by the government, but where the government is not a party to the contract. This funding may be in the form of grants, loans, or other funding mechanisms.
The OFCCP has just released another in their series of technical assistance guidance. The most recent release is a 50-page guide that provides an overview of a construction contractor’s equal employment and affirmative action obligations. Unlike supply and service contractors, construction contractors are not required to develop annual affirmative action plans under Executive Order 11246. To show compliance, these contractors must take 16 affirmative action steps as a way of making good faith efforts to meet their affirmative action participation goals. The guide groups these steps into 5 categories: Recruitment Practices, Training, Equal Opportunity Policy and Implementation, Personnel Operations, and Contracting Activities. Construction contractors are required to develop written Affirmative Action plans for Individuals with Disabilities under Section 503 and Protected Veterans under VEVRAA. With this guidance, construction contractors can decide to prepare one written plan that covers both Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans. Contractors can also develop Section 503/VEVRAA plans either by companywide or by geographic region. The newly published guide also includes a section explaining what a construction contractor can expect should they be subject to a compliance evaluation from the OFCCP. The full guide can be found here.
Recorded on November 7, 2019, Berkshire's Higher Education Consulting Specialists Sybil Randolph, Julie Dominguez, and Michiko Clark breakdown the OFCCP’s Educational Institutions Technical Assistance Guide and how this guide may impact decisions regarding your AAP.
In August of 2018, OFCCP announced that future scheduling lists for compliance evaluations by the OFCCP would include reviews focused solely on compliance with Section 503, “to ensure that federal contractors fully comply with equal employment opportunity obligations and consider other best practices to increase employment of qualified individuals with disabilities”. In March 2019, when the next and most recent list of contractors scheduled for review was published, 500 of those reviews were Section 503 focused reviews. The agency has indicated that focused reviews will continue and the numbers will increase with future scheduling lists.
OFCCP announced that they will hold a Town Hall meeting for Academic Institutions on October 23, 2019, from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM in Washington DC. The session is open to the public for anyone to attend, however the main focus will be directly related to these organizations’ compliance with OFCCP requirements.
In an interesting twist in the ongoing saga about the collection of employee pay data by the federal government, the EEOC announced in a Federal Register Notice that it will not seek renewal of Component 2 of the EEO-1 Report under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Importantly, this decision does not change the deadline for filing the 2017 and 2018 Component 2 data by September 30, 2019.
After the first round of comments, OFCCP recently published revisions to proposed updates to the scheduling letters, opening another 30-day comment period before any revisions will be finalized. OFCCP originally proposed changes to the scheduling letters in April with comments received through June 11. The revisions incorporate changes made as a result of comments to the initial proposals, several coming from Berkshire Associates. Comments from the public for these versions are due by July 29.
Continuing its focus of ensuring the agency is covering all types of government contractors’ compliance with their affirmative action obligations, OFCCP has proposed to conduct compliance checks for construction contractors with direct federal contracts and federally assisted contracts. Comments on the proposal are due June 7, 2019.