Federal Contractors/Subcontractors: Are you prepared for the proposed changes to Affirmative Action requirements?
Companies that are federal contractors or subcontractors need to be aware of the recent activity coming from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu recently hosted a web chat regarding the agency’s semi-annual regulatory agenda. She identified the priorities of the OFCCP and specific areas where federal contractors can expect changes in order to strengthen the current affirmative action requirements. The federal contractor community should be considering how these potential changes will affect them and prepared to make revisions to policies and procedures when the new guidance is issued.
Below are the proposed changes and the expected timeframe for each. The OFCCP:
- Published an Advanced Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for a Compensation Data Collection Tool on August 10, 2011. This ANPRM is open for comments until October 11, 2011. The OFCCP is encouraging interested parties to submit comments and/or concerns for the new compensation tool, which the office will consider as they design it. For information on the Compensation Data Collection Tool, please visit regulations.gov. The ID for this proposed rule is OFCCP-2011-0005-0001.
- Expects to issue proposed revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in August 2011
- Plans to finalize changes to the Scheduling Letter for audits in Fall 2011
- Plans to release the updated Federal Contract Compliance Manual in Fall 2011
- Plans to publish proposed changes to the Construction Contractors Regulations in November of 2011
- Plans to publish proposed changes for the Sex Discrimination Guidelines in February 2012
- Is currently reviewing the comments submitted regarding the proposed changes for the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. They expect to issue the final rule in Spring 2012.
Director Shiu also spoke at the 2011 National Industry Liaison Group Conference in New Orleans. During her speech she reiterated the OFCCP’s focus and confirmed the agency’s commitment to the proposed changes identified during her July web chat. She also said:
- Under the current administration there is a “restored commitment to our core values of equality, fairness and opportunity for all.”
- “Good faith” efforts are no longer enough to define affirmative action. The OFCCP is going to look to contractors to provide measureable results.
- During audits, the OFCCP intends to conduct more thorough and careful reviews. Federal contractors need to pay attention to their efforts and ensure they are meeting their obligations for compliance.
- There will be significant efforts toward updating and revising regulations.
- The OFCCP is making strides to more efficiently and effectively collaborate with the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor.
- The OFCCP has made no secrets about enforcing the current regulations as well as focusing on specific areas, such as individuals with disabilities, protected veterans and pay discrimination.
For additional information about how these proposed changes may affect your organization please call a member of our AAP Team at (919) 878-9222.
Photo Source: Thomas Cunningham