The laws that govern a contractor`s affirmative action requirements are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) through the OFCCP. The government provides a wealth of information and advice on how to comply with this requirement. On September 24, 2013, the OFCCP made amendments to the implementing provisions of the VEVRAA in the version of 41 C.F.R. §60-300. VEVRAA prohibits federal contractors and contractors from discriminating against protected veterans in employment and requires these contractors to take positive steps to recruit, hire, promote and retain veterans. For regulations that implement VEVRAA`s basic and positive requirements, see the VEVRAA DOL fact sheet and vevraa FAQ. If a contractor hasn`t certified the existence of their plan, they could top the agency`s audit list, said Matthew Camardella, co-head of affirmative action, OFCCP and Jackson Lewis P.C`s compliance practice of government contracts. Federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts over $15,000 are required to take positive steps to employ and employ qualified persons with disabilities. However, the requirement to have a written AAP applies to government contractors with 50 or more employees and a contract of $50,000 or more. See 41 C.F.R §60-741.40. The new regulation repeals the former 41 C.F.R. §60-250 and provides protection against discrimination under the revised 41 C.F.R.
§60-300 to veterans who were previously protected under § 60-250. The new regulations also require contractors to establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans. Contractors must use one of the following two methods to establish their benchmarks. Contractors may choose to establish a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labour force published in the reference database. and is updated annually by the OFCCP. Alternatively, entrepreneurs can create their own benchmarks using some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Veterans Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA), also published by the OFCCP, as well as other factors reflecting the contractor`s unique hiring circumstances. Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against persons with disabilities (JWDs) in employment and requires such employers to take positive steps to hire, hire, promote and retain such persons. The new rule strengthens the provisions of the Positive Actions Regulations to support entrepreneurs in their efforts to recruit and hire inland navigation vessels and to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. The new rule also makes changes to the non-discrimination provisions of the regulation to bring them into line with the ADA Amendment Act 2008. In the midst of these changes, several important legal issues remain ongoing for federal contractors and subcontractors, including: section 503. This section requires contractors to use the language and format prescribed by the OFCCP to identify themselves (pre-offer), post-offer and employees (regularly) as persons with disabilities (IWDs): This contractor and subcontractor must comply with the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These rules prohibit discrimination against qualified persons on the basis of their status as protected veterans or persons with disabilities and prohibit discrimination against all persons on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
In addition, these regulations require relevant prime contractors and subcontractors to take positive steps to employ and employ persons regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status. The OFCCP monitors employers` compliance with these EQUALITY laws and corresponding affirmative action requirements and takes a rather aggressive enforcement stance. As a result, contractors are regularly subject to conformity assessment audits (where a compliance officer reviews the contractor`s CIP and employment practices and conducts interviews with employees and company representatives), office audits, “glass ceiling” audits, complaint investigations, and compensation analysis and review. The OFCCP also investigates complaints from individuals alleging discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors based on a protected characteristic. The OFCCP could also recommend that procurement officials review the new database before awarding a contract, said David Cohen, co-chair of the Institute for Workplace Equality, a group of federal contractors specializing in compliance. “If that happens, the review would serve as a pre-award review and could impact their ability to win contracts.” This new development would require contractors to certify their compliance with the requirements of the Affirmative Action Plan. Contractors selected for review can also submit their plans through the contractors` online portal. The following is a brief overview of federal laws that require contractors to take positive action and develop annual PAAs. HR should continuously monitor its AAP compliance efforts to ensure that there are sufficient internal or external resources devoted to the task.
In addition, Human Resources must communicate regularly with operational managers to ensure that administrative costs related to relations with the federal government are not overlooked. This article provides an overview of the federal laws that require contractors to develop annual affirmative action plans and details on how contractors can carry out these plans. Business leaders need to be aware of their equal employment opportunity (EEO) obligations and to create PAAs when doing business with the U.S. federal government. As a rule, this is reflected in the terms of a written contract; However, some organizations will be surprised to learn that something as simple as providing food or beverages to a federal agency or military base can bring them into the realm of federal compliance with the EEO or AAP and is subject to CCP review. Threshold coverage under VEVRAA. The veterans` rule applies to federal contractors and covered subcontractors whose contract is $150,000 or more. Insured contractors and subcontractors with contracts of $150,000 or more and 50 or more employees must meet the requirements of the AAP and provide equal opportunity to the following four categories of veterans: The OFCCP has not explained how it can change its approach to pay discrimination cases in the future given its loss in the Oracle case.
However, it is expected that the OFCCP`s investigations into cases of wage discrimination will be more stringent, with a greater focus on the collection and analysis of data on wages and hours. As a reminder, even if a complaint of wage discrimination is not investigated, the OFCCP regularly requests a contractor`s remuneration data as part of its compliance verification process (point 19 of the OFCCP planning letter), including appropriate information on gender, racial/ethnic information, the date of hire, the EEO-1 category and the employee`s job group. Related annual reporting requirements for federal contractors The Affirmative Action Audit Initiative (AAVI) is still ongoing. AAVI is a proposed program that would require federal contractors to check with the government to see if they have actually written affirmative action programs. Contractors who fail to create a plan but verify its compliance will provide essential representation to the government. If you don`t complete the exam at all, it will likely increase the risk of an audit by a contractor. For these reasons, the OFCCP believes that a review requirement will increase the likelihood that federal contractors will develop and maintain written affirmative action plans as required by law. The guidelines for positive action in favour of contractors go beyond the scope of this Article.
The Fisher Phillips Affirmative Action and Federal Contract Compliance Practice Group knows that affirmative action is much more than just a numbers game. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) governs almost every aspect of your employment practices, whether you currently have federal contracts or are trying to secure your first contract. Bidding and entering into government contracts without knowing all these requirements is a recipe for losing money. Our lawyers can help you understand, consider and comply with the plethora of applicable laws to ensure you are ready. Affirmative Action Programs (AAP) describe an organization`s programs, policies, and procedures for proactively recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans to ensure that all people have equal employment opportunities. .