The OFCCP Compliance Quickstart Guide – For Federal Contractors
With spending on federal contracts at around $450 billion a year, the government offers a fantastic source of business for your company, so if you have got a federal contract or are considering submitting a proposal for one, that’s good news!
Nothing comes free however. You must adhere to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws and regulations under the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to get these contracts. Such legislation is administered, maintained as well as enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Programs or OFCCP.
The OFCCP works to ensure that Federal contractors are using non-discriminatory hiring practices to provide equal access opportunities for all Americans to Federal jobs. They do this via administration and enforcement of legislation that promotes affirmative action initiatives for persons that fall in certain classes. Their mission statement: “The purpose of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is to enforce, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government.”.
Below we break down the additional laws and regulations, and steps for compliance.
Major Laws Enforced by the OFCCP
Executive Order 11246
Under Executive Order 11246, employers with federal contracts which exceed $10,000 must take affirmative action to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and national origin.
If you have 50 or more employees and your contract value exceeds $50,000, you are required to maintain a written affirmative action program.
An Example of a written AAP for Executive Order 11246 – [Link]
Section 503 (“Rehabilitation Act”)
Under Section 503, employers with federal contracts that exceed $15,000 are required to take affirmative action in order to prevent discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities (IWDs).
Just like with EO 11246, if you have 50 or more employees and your contract amount totals more than $50,000, you are required to maintain a written affirmative action program.
An example of a written AAP for Section 503 – [Link]
VEVRAA / JVA
VEVRAA stipulates that employers must take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain protected veterans if your contract is equal to $100,000 or more.
If you have 50 or more employees, you are required to maintain a written AAP.
Example of a written AAP for VEVRAA / JVA – [Link]
Maintaining Compliance With Each Law
1. Do Not Discriminate
This can be either intentionally, or as a result from a neutral policy that has an adverse impact on protected classes and is not related to business necessity.
An example of a neutral policy which results in discrimination:
If you make high school diplomas a requirement for a job that requires zero technical skill, and this high school requirement disqualifies a disproportionate number of protected class workers, that is a neutral policy resulting in discrimination.
2. Take Care With Employment Tests
It is important to take care with employment test. For further guidance on compliant employment testing head over to O*NET’s resource center.
3. Post EEO Posters
Post OFCCP’s Equal Employment Opportunity poster in obvious places around the workplace
4. Include the EEO Tagline in Employment Advertising
Example from SHRM:
“[Company Name] provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, [Company Name] complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
[Company Name] expressly prohibits any form of workplace harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of [Company Name]’s employees to perform their job duties may result in discipline up to and including discharge.”
5. Records You Need to Keep
- Job Descriptions
- Job Postings and Advertisements
- Hire and Offer Logs
- Applicant Flow Logs
- Reasons for Non-Selection
- Applications and Resumes
- Interview Notes
- Tests and Test Results
- Written Employment Policies and Procedures
- Personnel Files
(Maintaining and tracking these contracts may be overwhelming. This is why federal contractors love Newton, the leading applicant tracking system for OFCCP compliance.)
6. How Long You Need to Keep the Records
If you have over 150 employees with contracts over $150k: 2 years.
If you have less than 150 Employees or contracts less than $150k: 1 Year.
7. Permit OFCCP Access
The OFCCP on-site evaluations may occur randomly or if a complaint is filed against you. For on-site evaluations, you are required to provide OFCCP with records relevant to their investigation.
8. File an Annual EEO-1 Report
Section 503 (“Rehabilitation Act”)
1. Nationwide Utilization Goal
Apply the nationwide utilization goal of 7% (for qualified individuals with disabilities) to each of your job groups or entire workforce. Assess your utilization relevant to this goal annually to find any problem areas and build plans to address them.
2. Collect IWD Data
Collect data on the number of IWDs who applied vs. those that were hired (maintain data for three years).
3. Include an Invitation to Self-Identify as an IWD
4. Incorporation of the EO Clause
5. Meet the Recent ADAAA Updates
VEVRAA / JVA
1. Establish Annual Hiring Benchmarks for Protected Veterans
2. Collect Veteran Application Rate Data
Data around number of veterans who apply to your jobs and the number that you hire (must be maintained for three years),
3. Invitation to Self-Identify
Invite protected Veterans to self-identify both pre-offer and post-offer.
4. Incorporation of the EO Clause
5. Jobs Posted to the Right Channels
Job listings must provide information in a manner and format permitted by the appropriate State or local job service, so that it can access and use the information to make the job listings available to job seekers.
6. File a VETS-4212 Report If Contract Exceeds $150,000
There you have it! Newton’s guide to maintaining OFCCP compliance once you secure a federal contract. For further guidance on how you can meet your requirements as a federal contractor, head over to the OFCCP Compliance Assistance Web Portal or the FAQ for employers.
Newton and EEO & OFCCP Compliance Hiring Tools
Whether you just crested 50 employees or have a federal contract, with the most up-to-date, EEO and OFCCP compliance tracking and reporting tools available, Newton has you covered!
Newton has the most complete EEOC & OFCCP compliance hiring reports because it tracks and stores all compliance data… automatically!
So, How Does This Help Recruiters?
Well, with Newton’s compliance tools, manual data capture is a thing of the past! Recruiters no longer need to manually capture data as Newton does this automatically. With built in EEO and OFCCP functionality such as reasons for non-selection, minimum qualifications, Section 503 and more keep you safe, you can focus on getting more candidates through the door!
What About HR Directors?
With Newton’s compliance functionality, HR Directors have instant access to pre-built compliance reports. Newton allows you to easily create applicant flow logs and also hire and offer logs so that you can be prepared should an audit take place.
And Finally Executives!
Prevent expensive audits and have peace of mind knowing that your organization’s recruiting efforts adhere to EEO and OFCCP hiring compliance standards. Newton allows you to keep track of your team’s activities and to always stay ahead of any compliance issues.
Newton and EEOC & OFCCP Compliance Feature Highlights
Day One Compliance
Equipped with compliance tools which provide great insurance for your recruiting program, Newton has it all! EEO, OFCCP, Section 503, VEVRAA updates, minimum requirements and more, you got it, it’s all included in Newton and it’s already built for you to use or build custom questions that are more in-line with your particular brand. Many government contractors rely on Newton every day to manage recruitment compliance. Transition away from paper file cabinets and have all of this data stored online, you have control who has access to it!
Newton can consistently store and track all critical hiring compliance data needed to create your applicant flow logs as well as hire and offer logs. Should an audit ever occur, use pre-built reports based on OFCCP requirements and EEOC guidelines. Recruitment compliance is a key topic for recruiters and human resource professionals. Even though OFCCP compliance regulations are specifically for employers that have federal contracts, responsibility lies with every U.S.-based employer to banish discrimination in their hiring processes.