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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.

Diversity Recruiting Strategy

Asked By Susan P. on Aug 30, 2019

Would anyone be open to discussing/sharing a diversity recruiting strategy with me for mid level and senior level hiring?

Answered on Sep 05, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

The OFCCP typically is expecting a government contractor to tailor its diversity recruiting strategy to the specific types of mid-level and senior-level hiring that you do in your industry. For example, assuming that these positions in your organization require an advanced degree, developing a strategy that includes tapping into graduate degree programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities might be helpful. Other resources you could consider are associations or affinity groups such as the Society of Women Engineers, the Council...

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Asked By Phillip M. on Apr 23, 2019

We are a small sub-contractor (9 employees) in the Intelligence Community. How far does the OFCCP go to enforcing compliance, if at all, for a company of this size?

Answered on Apr 24, 2019

Lisa Kaiser, Esq. - Lawyer, The Kaiser Law Group, PLLC

All companies (within the U.S.) that contract with the federal government that have contracts or subcontracts in excess of $10,000 are subject to the requirements of Section 503 and the Executive Order. While an AAP is not required for a company with under 50 employees, other obligations still apply (see language below from the OFCCP's website). I would recommend that your company implement compliant record keeping procedures. The Executive Order prohibits federal contractors and federally–assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who...

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Affirmative Action Plan and OFCCP Guidelines for 8a Federal Contractor Companies

Asked By Anonymous on Sep 05, 2019


I know that the requirements for 8a companies differ from the more robust and stringent requirements for non-8a companies for OFCCP compliance and AAPs. How can I get clear guidance to be compliant as an 8a company?

Answered on Sep 18, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

The obligations under E.O. 11246, VEVRAA, and Section 503 apply equally to all federal contractors and subcontractors, unless exempted under 41 C.F.R. §60-1.5. However, they may be other requirements that companies have to comply with if they are in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program. I am not aware of separate affirmative action or equal opportunity obligations on top of what the federal regulations require, but the SBA does have certain requirements for eligibility into the program, which the SBA...

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Candidate Evaluation Form

Asked By Rachel D. on Apr 24, 2019

Do you have any advice to provide when selecting interview evaluation questions? The hiring manager will be required to answer these questions for all applicants following each interview and ultimately will show how they got to their hiring decision for example:

Did applicant demonstrate required skills for the position: Yes/No
Is the applicant a good fit for the team: Yes/No
Does applicant values/goals align with company values/goals: Yes/No
Move forward: Yes/No

Answered on Apr 24, 2019

Lisa Kaiser, Esq. - Lawyer, The Kaiser Law Group, PLLC

Thank you for posting additional information. From an objective perspective, the only relevant question is the first one. If the applicant does not possess the required skills, then the company should not move forward. If it moves forward with an applicant that does not have the required skills, then those skills are not required for the job and should not be part of the screening process. A "good fit for the team" and "Does applicant values/goals align with company values/goals"...

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Protected Veteran Self-ID Form

Asked By Alisha S. on Sep 06, 2019

Could you please link to the form that is most updated for Veterans to self-identify post-offer?

Also, the version of the form we have provides an option for a non-protected veteran to identify. I am receiving information that we should not be identifying those who are veterans but are non-protected. Is this accurate?

Our concern specifically is if we should be asking this question:
I am NOT a protected veteran. (I served in the military but do not fall into any veteran categories listed above)
***categories above are:

Disabled veteran
Recently separated veteran
Active wartime or campaign badge veteran
Armed forces service medal veteran

Thank you!

Answered on Sep 18, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

Unlike Section 503 which prescribes a specific OMB form for the voluntary survey, the VEVRAA regulation does not prescribe a form. Rather, it provided sample language for the invitation to self-identify, which you can find under Appendix B of the VEVRAA regulations. Contractors are free to use alternative language. While this language includes the option to select “I am NOT a protected veteran,” by including in parentheses “I served in the military but do not fall into any veteran categories...

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Affirmative Action Plan upon request to the Public

Asked By Moni P. on May 08, 2019

We recently had a request from a certain minority group to provide the number of employees we employ of a certain ethnic background in certain positions with in our organization.

I understand that we are required to make available for inspection the AAPs for IWDs and Protected Vets for applicants and employees? I don’t see anywhere in the regulations that says it is for the public or to disclose ethnicity of a certain job group?

Can you give us some guidance or best practice?

Answered on May 09, 2019

Bill Osterndorf - Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group, Inc

It is accurate that if you are covered by the affirmative action law for individuals with disabilities, you must make all parts of that AAP except the data components available for review to applicants or employees. It is also accurate that if you are covered by the affirmative action law for protected veterans, you must make all parts of that AAP except the data components available for review to applicants and employees. You are not required to provide copies of...

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Collecting Applications for Future Opening

Asked By Anonymous on Sep 10, 2019

We are sharing an internal hire link with job seekers requesting to apply for a Driver position which we hire for often, but do not currently have available. As it is not an active opening, it is not posted to our website, the state bank, or sent in our outreach efforts – Rather it is a repository for Driver candidates for future. Is this compliant? Is there a best practice around this type of situation we should be doing instead?
Thank you!

Answered on Sep 18, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

From a purely mandatory job listing compliance standpoint, there is no need to list the job with the ESDS now and this is not an issue as long as the job is listed with the ESDS and outreach is undertaken once the actual vacancy occurs. That being said, there are other considerations as far as how this practice expands your applicant pool, what constitutes an Internet applicant and an expression of interest, the recordkeeping requirements for internal resume database searches,...

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Contingent Positions & VEVRAA

Asked By Anonymous on Apr 25, 2019


Are we required to post our contingent positions with the local ESDS? We often bid on work in states where we do not currently have ESDS accounts or employees currently working. Do we need to post in those states for VEVRAA compliance even though we may not win the work and fill the position?

Thank you!

Answered on May 06, 2019

Roselle Rogers - Vice President, Circa

§60-300.5 Section 2 of the Equal opportunity clause, which sets forth the mandatory job listing obligation for federal contractors states that “The contractor agrees to immediately list all employment openings which exist at the time of the execution of this contract and those which occur during the performance of this contract, including those not generated by this contract and including those occurring at an establishment of the contractor other than the one where the contract is being performed, but excluding...

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Employee Referrals for Pipeline

Asked By Anonymous on Sep 12, 2019

In follow up to the Q&A on “Tracking of ‘Pipeline’ Candidates” answered by Ms. Horvitz, I’d like to inquire whether the ‘manual adds’ our team keys in need to be applied to an active opening, or if an internal hire link could be utilized for this purpose. We often have employee referrals and need a way to get them into our ATS. They are not applying for a specific opening, rather being ‘pipelined’ for a potential future opening. If there is anything else we are not considering, please do let us know.
Thank you!

Answered on Sep 13, 2019

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

The OFCCP's record keeping regulations allow you to maintain a database for internal use. To get the referrals into the system using an internal hire link is permissible. OFCCP's regulations (41 CFR Section 60-1.12) tell you that for purposes of record-keeping with respect to internal resume databases, the contractor must maintain a record of each resume added to the database, a record of the date each resume was added to the database, the position for which each search of the...

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“Reusing” Self-ID Form

Asked By Anonymous on May 31, 2019

We are trying to use a module in our applicant tracking system to solicit and collect post-offer responses (race/gender/vets/disability). The form is tied to the person’s record. If someone were to leave and then be rehired, that means the form that is given to them will retain their responses from the first time they were hired. They would have the ability to change the response though, and must re-acknowledge it.

Is it ok to “reuse” the form like this, or do the regulation require that we provide them with a blank form?

Answered on Jun 05, 2019

Bill Osterndorf - Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group, Inc

The simple answer here is that you should be able to reuse the form in the way you've described. The "surveying" obligation under the federal affirmative action regulations is to provide applicants and employees an opportunity to self-identify their race/ethnicity, sex, protected veteran status, and disability status. Applicants and employees are not required under the regulations to provide this information, and employers are generally not allowed to force applicants and employees to provide this information. In the situation described above,...

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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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