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It never fails in our office. The frantic phone call because a Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audit letter shows up on a desk, two weeks after sitting on the President’s desk, with the yellow sticky note “please handle.” Before fear and panic set in, here are some pointers for keeping ahead of the scary audit letter.
Explore if your organization IS covered by the Affirmative Action (AA) regulations. ASK QUESTIONS! If your business purchases or sells to the US Government directly, you must have 50+ US based employees and a contract of $50,000 or more to be covered by the regulations. Subcontractors providing services to a prime government contractor may also be covered under the regulations. Often times, signing Certification Letters or contracts that you are an EEO/AA employer indicates that a subcontract is in place. If your organization is a depositor of funds (such as savings bonds) or insured by the federal government (such as FDIC), you may be covered under these regulations.
HR professionals should check with legal, contracts, sales or other areas of the company to explore if they are doing business with the government, pursuing government work or providing secondary services to a prime contractor. Check to see if anyone is signing Certification Letters; review contracts from major customers; and also look at EEO-1 reports – is the box checked that you are a government contractor/subcontractor?
If you are a construction contractor, providing construction services to federal projects, the threshold is $10,000 and the AA plan requirements are different.
PLEASE NOTE: Some cities, states and other governmental organizations also have AA requirements with some variation of the federal regulations. If your company has contracts with these types of agencies, check your local/state regulations. If your sales organization is bidding on federal, state or local work, have them coordinate with you to make sure you are meeting the affirmative action obligations of the bid or contract award.
Most business leaders believe that having a policy statement that you are an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer is enough. It’s not! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the OFCCP are two separate agencies that enforce two separate regulations.
An AAP requires you to have analyses for Minorities and Females (Executive Order 11246); Individuals with Disabilities (Section 503); and Veterans (VEVRAA).
If you are covered under the affirmative action regulations, here are some things you should know:
Having your plan completed each year on time is the best way to be prepared for an OFCCP audit.