A federal contractor is seen reading a book titled Guide to OFCCP Compliance.

OFCCP Compliance Quickstart Guide for Federal Contractors

So you finally got that federal contract or you are seriously considering submitting a proposal for one. Either way, that’s great news! With spending on federal contracts hovering around $450 billion (yes, billion!) each year, the government offers a great source of business for your company.

However, remember that nothing comes free. Along with those federal contracts, there comes a whole new litany of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws and regulations that you must adhere to under the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

So what are these additional laws and regulations? What steps must you take to comply with them? Let us break it down for you.

What Are the Major Laws Enforced by the OFCCP?

Executive Order 11246

Under Executive Order 11246, employers with federal contracts exceeding $10,000 must take affirmative action to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and national origin.

Affirmative Action

If you have 50 or more employees and your contract amount exceeds $50,000, you are required to maintain a written affirmative action program.

Example of a written AAP for Executive Order 11246 – [Link]

Section 503 (“Rehabilitation Act”)

Under Section 503, employers with federal contracts exceeding $15,000 are required to take affirmative action to prevent discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities (IWDs).

Affirmative Action

Just like with EO 11246, if you have 50 or more employees and your contract amount exceeds $50,000, you are required to maintain a written affirmative action program

Example of a written AAP for Section 503 – [Link]


VEVRAA stipulates that employers must take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain protected veterans if your contract amounts to $100,000 or more.

Affirmative Action

If you have 50 or more employees, you are required to maintain a written AAP.

Example of a written AAP for VEVRAA / JVA – [Link]


Insider Tip: For additional guidance on what your internal affirmative action plan should include, check out SHRM’s Internal AAP Checklist.

How to Maintain Compliance With Each Law

EO 11246

1. Don’t Discriminate

Either intentionally, or resulting from a neutral policy that has adverse impact on protected classes and is not related to business necessity.

Example of a neutral policy resulting in discrimination:

If you make high school diplomas a requirement for a job that requires no technical skill, and this high school requirement disqualifies a disproportionate number of protected class workers, that is a neutral policy resulting in discrimination.

2. Be Careful With Employment Tests

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

  • – Locker room, lunchroom, break area, etc…
  • – Sample Poster

4. Include the EEO Tag Line 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 Applications and Resumes
Job Postings and Advertisements Interview Notes
Hire and Offer Logs Tests and Test Results
Applicant Flow Logs Written Employment Policies and Procedures
Reasons for Non-Selection Personnel Files

(Yep, maintaining and tracking all of these records can be overwhelming! That’s why 
federal contractors love Newton, the leading applicant tracking system for OFCCP compliance.)

6. How Long You Need to Keep the Records

yepIf you have more than 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 can 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 identify any problem areas and create 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


Also, the OFCCP has a great compliance checklist for Section 503 here.


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.

Assess Your OFCCP Compliance In Under 30 Seconds

To help current and prospective federal contractors evaluate where they stand on OFCCP compliance, we have created a recruitment compliance risk calculator. Answer these 10 questions and receive an immediate evaluation of your compliance risk.


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