OFCCP Issues Directive Addressing Focused Reviews of Federal Government Contractors

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By: Connie N. Bertram

Acting OFCCP Director Craig Leen announced at the National Industry Liaison Group annual conference in early August that OFCCP would start conducting focused reviews of federal government contractors. A week later, on August 10, 2018, OFCCP issued Directive 2018-04 (the "Directive"), directing that a portion of OFCCP’s scheduling lists include reviewed focused on compliance with the three laws enforced by OFCCP: Executive Order 11246 (equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin); Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (equal employment for individuals with disabilities), and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act ("VEVRAA") (equal employment for protected veterans).

Starting in Fiscal Year 2019, a portion of each year's compliance evaluation scheduling lists will include focused reviews. The Directive anticipates that for Section 503 focused reviews, compliance officers would:

  • Review policies and practice related solely to Section 503 compliance;

  • Interview managers responsible for equal employment opportunity and Section 503 compliance;

  • Interview employees impacted by the contractor's Section 503 policies; and

  • Evaluate hiring and compensation data, as well as documents addressing the handling of requests by employees for accommodation.

The Directive anticipates a "similar" approach would be used for Executive Order 11246 and VEVRAA focused reviews.

The Directive states that OFCCP staff will "develop a standard protocol for conducting the focused reviews" and make the protocols available prior to the issuance of the next scheduling list. In addition, OFCCP will conduct training for OFCCP staff and contractors "to provide guidance as to the focused reviews."

The Directive serves as an important reminder to contractors regarding the need to comply (and document compliance) with all of the laws enforced by OFCCP. Recent compliance reviews of OFCCP generally have not focused on contractors’ compliance with VEVRAA or Section 503.Contractors should anticipate that, even if they are not selected for a focused review, OFCCP is likely to focus on compliance with these laws.It is critical that contractors undertake a self-audit process to ensure that they are in compliance, including the benchmarks and analytics recently adopted by OFCCP.

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