Does your company have any contracts with the federal government or plan to become a federal contractor in the future? If so, you should familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to ensure you're up to date on recruiting best practices.
The OFCCP’s mission is to ensure that federal government contractors and subcontractors comply with legal obligations to take affirmative action and prevent discrimination. Sounds simple, right? Yes, but there are specific details you need to be aware of so that you are fully compliant.
Let’s take a look at the OFCCP rules and regulations and how they may apply to your organization’s recruitment efforts.
OFCCP Rules and Regulations - The Basics
First things first: if you do less than $10,000 in federal contracted work, you may be exempt from OFCCP rules. However, you should take OFCCP seriously if you hope to increase your footprint with more government work.
Now, let’s dig in.
The majority of businesses in the United States are subject to federal laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that make it illegal to discriminate against job candidates and employees based on:
- Sex (this includes gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy)
- National origin
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic disorder
Businesses subject to EEOC laws also cannot discriminate against a person who has complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, was part of a discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, very similar to equal employment laws administered by the EEOC. Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment and hiring practices. Contractors should review even seemingly neutral policies and practices that may inadvertently impact members of any sex, race, ethnic group, etc.
Use the EEO tagline in your employment ads
If your business is a federal contractor, you are required to include the equal employment opportunity (EEO) tagline in your recruitment ads.
Place EEO posters
Federal contractors must post EEO posters in an obvious and clearly visible location.
Keep records on hiring and employment practices
The OFCCP requires federal contractors and subcontractors to keep personnel and employment records on file for two years from the date of the creation of the personnel record or action. If you have fewer than 150 employees or your contract is less than $150,000, you only need to keep records on file for one year.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you effortlessly collect and confidentially store EEO, Disability and VETS data to conform with the OFCCP's March 2014 specifications and easily generate OFCCP reports and applicant flow logs as needed.
Allow OFCCP access to records for compliance investigations and evaluations
If someone files a complaint against your business, you will be required to allow OFCCP access to your company for an onsite investigation and audit of your personnel records and hiring practices. Here again, the right ATS can help you get prepared for potential investigations or evaluations.
Develop an Affirmative Action Program and use it to guide recruiting
Federal contractors and subcontractors must develop and document affirmative action programs (AAP) that help advance opportunities for minorities, women, people with disabilities and covered veterans. Recruiters should use the company AAP to guide recruiting efforts.
- Use recruitment sources that help you reach women and minorities.
- Send letters to identified recruitment sources about job openings.
- Perform a self-audit before or soon after making a hiring decision to evaluate.
- Did you have a diverse set of applicants that included women and minorities?
- What qualifications did they have and how do they compare to other applicants or the person whom you hired?
- Keep records of your self-audit and document the results and take any corrective actions that may be required.
Are You Ready for OFCCP?
A contract with the Federal government can be a game-changing opportunity for your business. Protect that opportunity by familiarizing yourself with OFCCP rules and regulations and take steps toward compliance today.
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