The Basics of OFCCP Compliance

Navigating through federal compliance regulations can be extremely challenging. By maintaining OFCCP compliance, you’ll ensure your organization meets all its requirements, decreases the risk of audits, and builds a diverse workforce in accordance with the law.

What is OFCCP?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is an agency within the United States Department of Labor. The agency regulates federal contractor equal opportunity employment practices to ensure discrimination does not take place in any aspect of employment.

The OFCCP is responsible for auditing federal contractor employment practices. This includes investigating their recruiting, selection, hiring, firing, promotion, and compensation processes. In addition, the OFCCP provides compliance assistance with staff and contractor education, outreach and engagement, employer understanding of their legal obligations, and more.

Why should I maintain compliance?

The impacts of non-compliance vary, often costing money via violations and/or impacting a business' reputation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the OFCCP reviewed facilities encompassing over 12.8 million employees from 2011 to 2021 and obtained over $211 million for 272,000 discriminated job seekers. In addition, sanctions that violate the government agreement can ultimately cause the loss of an organization's current and future federal contracts. Employers may also be responsible for providing back pay or lost wages to those who are discriminated against. When it comes to violating compliance, the reputation of an organization's brand can be on the line as the OFCCP generally issues press releases for financial violations and all violations are public knowledge. This kind of damage can ruin a contractor’s ability to attract work and hire new employees.

The OFCCP works with several departmental agencies including the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor. The OFCCP also works with the Office of the Solicitor, which provides ethical, legal, and enforcement issue advice.

How to Stay OFCCP Compliant

The OFCCP is dedicated to protecting candidates from specific qualified groups, making sure they are fairly represented in the workplace. In order to stay compliant, federal contractors are required to have a written affirmative action plan, keep records of various information around employment and diversity, adhere to Equal Opportunity clauses, and post jobs to the appropriate state job bank Employment Service Delivery Systems (ESDS). This can include local employment agencies, state job banks, and local One-Stop Career Centers.

The OFCCP enforces three laws. These laws protect job applicants and employee rights:

  • Executive Order 11246: The law requires affirmative action and prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. It also prohibits them from, under certain circumstances, taking adverse employment actions against applicants and employees for asking about, discussing, or sharing information about their pay or the pay of their co‐workers.

  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act: The law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires affirmative action employment practices for these individuals.

  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA): The law prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discrimination against veterans and requires employers to take affirmative action for these individuals.

Are You Ready for OFCCP?

Maintaining OFCCP compliance is paramount when awarded a federal contract. The requirements help organizations create a foundation for improving upon diversity hiring practices, data collection, managing employee workflows, and becoming ready for potential audits.

If you haven’t put these tools in place or need to improve upon your OFCCP preparedness, don’t worry, there are several resources that can get you up to speed.

Visit JobTarget’s Compliance page to start protecting your organization and contact one of our experts so you can become and stay compliant.

Disclaimer: this is not intended to offer legal advice. Secure legal counsel when ensuring government compliance.

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