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Ask the Experts is an exclusive online forum provided by Circa. Federal contractors and subcontractors are invited to submit questions to industry experts related to OFCCP compliance, affirmative action planning, and equal employment opportunity.

Construction Indefinite-Quantity Contract

Asked By Anonymous on Apr 07, 2022

We were awarded an Indefinite-quantity contract with a total value of $0.00 for ongoing renovations for a US Mint location. As part of this IDIQ contract, we were just awarded a task order over $50,000. Does this qualify as a federal contract under the OFCCP (EO 11246 and 503)?

Answered on Apr 13, 2022

Julia Mendez Achee - Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

From the information you offered, it does appear that the contract would be covered under EO 11246. This is what the OFCCP has posted on their website: Executive Order 11246 applies to federal construction contractors that meet one or more of the following contract thresholds: A direct federal construction contract or subcontract of over $10,000. A federally assisted construction contract or subcontract of over $10,000. Two or more federal construction contracts or subcontracts of less than $10,000 that, when added...

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Subcontractor Agreement Verbiage Required

Asked By Anonymous on Apr 06, 2022

Hello,

This question is in regards to what verbiage needs to be included in subcontractor agreements regarding the EEO clause to stay compliant. Is it a requirement to include the following verbiage in all subcontractor agreements in bold text?

“This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing compensation. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.”

Answered on Apr 13, 2022

Julia Mendez Achee - Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

The EO clause under EO 11246, VEVRAA, and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act does need to be part of purchase orders and contracts and listed in bold. The EO 11246 reference is required if the subcontract totals over $10,000. The Section 503 clause needs to be included if the subcontract totals over $15,000. The VEVRAA clause needs to be included if the subcontract totals $150,000 or more.

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Going from Private to Public

Asked By Anonymous on Mar 15, 2022

Hi there,

When an organization goes from the private to the public sector, what are their new AAP or EEO obligations? Should they be looking at being OFCCP compliant now?

Thank you,
Maria

Answered on Apr 13, 2022

Julia Mendez Achee - Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

Publicly traded companies are under the same obligations as private companies with respect to AAP requirements. If they have a federal contract or subcontract over $10,000, they have certain obligations under EO 11246. At over $15,000, there are obligations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. At $150,000, there are obligations under VEVRAA. If the company has 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in contracts, they must also prepare an AAP under EO 11246 and Section 503 of...

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We receive grant funding. Are we a federal contractor for the purposes of OFCCP’s website registration and AAP compliance?

Asked By Anonymous on Feb 25, 2022

Just looking for a professional opinion… I have found a legal opinion on the Dept. of Labor website (specifically referring to Pell Grants) addressing whether or not grant funding is considered a federal contract for the purposes of OFCCP/AAP compliance. The funds we have primarily received in the past are WIOA funds and other job-related grant funds. Last year, though, we received a substantial grant through ARPA. We received the email from OFCCP regarding the registration on the Contractor Portal/AAP compliance. I believe that this email was sent out generically to all recipients of federal funds regardless of purpose. In the opinion letter issued in May 2019 the term contractor does not extend to arrangements in which the primary purpose is extending help or support by conferring grants or other benefits under Federal assistance programs. Can you confirm or deny my thought process that we do not have to comply with the registration or the AAP compliance. I believe, also, that, due to the fact that we are well under the 50 employee count, this also exempts us from compliance. Thank you for your time.

Answered on Feb 26, 2022

Alissa Horvitz, Esq. - Member Attorney, Roffman Horvitz, PLC

An employer with fewer than 50 employees is not required to prepare AAPs. You should not register in the OFCCP's Contractor Portal.

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EEO Voluntary Self Identification Form

Asked By Anonymous on Feb 18, 2022

Hi there,

Hoping you can advise on the right statement we should be using for our EEO Voluntary Self-Identification Form.  We are currently using: Because Lifespark is a Federal contractor, we are obligated to request that all candidates fill out and submit the attached form for our records. The data collected in this form will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Is there a better statement to use?

Answered on Feb 18, 2022

Julia Mendez Achee - Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

The obligation is that you give applicants (and employees) the opportunity to voluntarily self-disclose race/ethnicity, sex, disability status, and veteran status. They are not required to fill out the information since it is voluntary. Here is language commonly used along with the self-identification form. "When you apply for a U.S.-based job with COMPANY, the federal government requires us to ask you for information such as gender, ethnicity and race, disability, and veteran status. Sharing this information is completely voluntary. Declining...

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Candidate Dispositioning

Asked By Anonymous on Feb 02, 2022

Looking for some counsel. New to a company and need to do dome historical cleanup of candidates who never reached a final disposition status in closed reqs.

Is it more risk to leave these as is? Or more risk to disposition these candidates, even if we may be “guessing” what the correct disposition should be? (recruiters are gone, we don’t have historical intel…)

Can you advise?

Thanks!

Answered on Feb 02, 2022

Julia Mendez Achee - Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

Unfortunately, what you describe is an issue that I have come across quite a bit over the last 27 years of consulting with federal contractors. The perfect scenario would be that all persons who applied were given a disposition that was clear enough to determine if they are an internet applicant. Only those that pass the internet applicant rule are counted in the applicant/hire analysis. However, in this situation where not everyone was assigned a disposition code and there is...

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Recruitment Data Management Technique

Asked By Anonymous on Jul 26, 2019

We are considering the use of a data management technique to manage the applicant pool for high volume positions. Would an acceptable technique be to FIRST consider any applicants that have a particular certification and THEN sort the remaining applicants in date order and review them in groups of 25?

Answered on Aug 06, 2019

Marilynn L. Schuyler, Esq. - Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw

If there is an automated way to screen for the certification, then this method would work. It is perfectly acceptable to use "search criteria" to narrow the initial pool. However, once you begin reviewing the applications, you have entered the first tier of evaluation.

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National VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark

Asked By Anonymous on Mar 27, 2019

The 6.4% benchmark for 2018 is based on the national percentage of vets in the civilian labor force. We are able to establish our own benchmark based on data from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the Veterans Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA) as well as other factors (I am assuming this can mean geographical) that reflect our unique hiring circumstances. If anyone has their own custom benchmark set up, can you share the resource(s) you used to create the benchmark?

Answered on Apr 23, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

OFCCP recently announced that the new VEVRAA hiring benchmark has decreased to 5.9% effective March 31, 2019. For contractors choosing to develop their own benchmark, OFCCP provides some helpful resources on its VEVRAA Benchmark Database page, including the factors to consider as well as examples to illustrate the methodology for establishing the benchmark.

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This forum provides information of a general nature. None of the answers or information provided is intended as legal advice or opinion relative to specific matters, facts, situations, or issues. Additional facts and information or future developments may affect the subjects addressed. You should consult with an attorney about your specific circumstance before acting on any of this information since it may not be applicable to your situation. Circa and all experts expressly disclaim all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this forum.

Our Experts

Comprised of former OFCCP directors and respected thought leaders in OFCCP compliance, affirmative action, and EEO.

Ahmed Younies

President and CEO, HR Unlimited, Inc.

Alissa Horvitz, Esq.

Member Attorney, Roffman Horvitz, PLC

Allen Hudson, PHR, SHRM-CP

CEO, HudsonMann

Beth Ronnenburg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

President, Berkshire Associates

Bill Osterndorf

Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group, Inc

Carey Freitag

Human Resources Manager, Circa

Carla Irwin, Esq.

President, Carla Irwin & Associates, Inc.

Craig Leen

Board Member, Circa

David Cohen

President and Founder, DCI Consulting

Ellen Shong-Bergman

Former Director, OFCCP and Retired President, Ellen Shong & Associates,

Josh Roffman, Esq.

Managing Attorney, Roffman Horvitz, PLC

Julia Mendez Achee

Senior Consultant - EEO/Affirmative Action Division, Biddle Consulting Group

Lisa Kaiser, Esq.

Lawyer, The Kaiser Law Group, PLLC

Marilynn L. Schuyler, Esq.

Senior Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw

Matt Nusbaum

Senior Consultant, Director, Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.

William E. Doyle, Jr., Esq.

Former Deputy Director, OFCCP Partner, McGuireWoods LLP

Zoe Ann Whitley

Manager, Consulting Services, Affirmity

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