Submitted by Husch Blackwell Associate Kayt Kopen

Federal contractors will soon need to update their Equal Employment Opportunity policies and their Affirmative Action Plans. According to an announcement by DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, federal contracts and subcontracts awarded or modified after April 8, 2015, must include new contract language prohibiting discrimination

New OFCCP rules amending the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment and Assistance Act and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act are expected to be effective March 24, 2014. OFCCP has published a set of forms that are to be used in implementing the new rules, which are available in this client alert from Husch Blackwell’s OFCCP compliance team.

As we have discussed in several earlier posts, the new rules represent an aggressive move by OFCCP. They impose significant new recordkeeping obligations on federal contractors and subcontractors. They set high placement goals and hiring benchmarks for veterans and individuals with disabilities. They authorize OFCCP to obtain more contractor information during compliance reviews.

One of the key issues with the new rules is that they require federal contractors and subcontractors to ask job applicants and current employees whether they are individuals with disabilities. Such questioning is normally prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Needless to say, there has been a lot of opposition to the new OFCCP rules.


Continue Reading

Under the OFCCP’s final rule announced on August 27, 2013, federal contractors and subcontractors that meet the applicability criteria will be required to meet new goals for hiring protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. For veterans, the new “benchmark” is based on the percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force (currently 8 percent) or

On July 7, 2011, the Department of Labor released its regulatory agenda for the next 6-12 months.  The agenda for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) contains five items:  compensation, construction, veterans, disabilities, and sex discrimination.  OFCCP hosted a live Q&A session on its regulatory agenda on July 12, confirming its new aggressive approach.


Continue Reading

On June 28, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released a new directive specifically authorizing the use of Functional Affirmative Action Programs (FAAPs) and detailing applicable procedures.  While most covered contractors prepare affirmative action plans based on establishment, some contractors (typically, very large, multi-establishment companies) conclude that an affirmative action plans based on function or unit (such as sales, or R&D), which cut across establishments, more appropriately analyze the workforce.
Continue Reading

The FAR Councils have adopted a final rule [pdf] revising the categories of veterans protected by federal equal opportunity laws. The rule updates the FAR to reflect Department of Labor regulations addressing equal opportunity requirements for veterans. The FAR amendments identify four categories of veterans: disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, armed forces service medal veterans,

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is proposing changes to the standard-form Scheduling Letter that will impose significant new burdens on contractors. The proposed changes would require contractors to provide their leave policies (including their entire employee handbook), more detailed demographic and compensation data, as well as the last three years of VETS-100/VETS-100A reports.

On April 26, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs formally proposed regulations to update contractor affirmative action obligations concerning veterans. The proposed rules impose additional obligations on covered federal contractors and subcontractors. For the first time, OFCCP is seeking to impose quantitative measurements to assess the hiring of protected veterans, self-identification invitations

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has been busy the past few months and anticipates heightened activity in the months to come. New OFCCP initiatives include: (1) asserting jurisdiction over healthcare providers, (2) revamping efforts to identify workers misclassified as contractors; (3) proposing new affirmative action regulations for construction contractors; and (4) increasing enforcement