A group of diverse employees smiling for the camera

What is OFCCP?

By Sarah Ballow, iHire | August 20, 2019

OFCCP compliance can be a sticky topic. While most federal contractors do their best to be inclusive and provide equal employment opportunity for all, many have difficulty navigating the complex and everchanging laws they’re required to follow. In recent years, compliance has become even more complicated with the rise of online job boards and applicant tracking systems (ATS).

If you’re confused about OFCCP compliance, you’re certainly not alone. We’ve answered some key questions to help you better understand OFCCP and how your company may be affected:

  • What is OFCCP?
  • What laws does OFCCP enforce?
  • Do I need to comply with OFCCP requirements?
  • What is required under the Internet Applicant rule?

What is OFCCP?

The OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) is an agency within the US Department of Labor that prevents federal contractors and subcontractors (generally called federal contractors) from using discriminatory employment practices.

To ensure federal contractors are meeting legal requirements, the OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations and complaint investigations that audit all facets of the employment process – sourcing, hiring, firing, promoting, transferring, laying off, and compensating. The employment process is complex as are the laws set forth to prevent discrimination and promote equal employment opportunity, so the OFCCP also provides assistance and resources to help employers understand and meet the requirements.

What laws does OFCCP enforce?

The OFCCP enforces three main laws:

  • Executive Order (EO) 11246 prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action in employment for applicants and employees to ensure equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503) prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action in employment for individuals with disabilities (IWDs). It establishes a nationwide 7% utilization goal for IWDs. If you do not meet the utilization goal, you must assess your employment practices and develop an action-oriented plan to address problem areas.
  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action in employment for protected veterans.

Do I need to comply with OFCCP requirements?

The OFCCP enforces requirements for those who do business with the federal government – federal contractors and subcontractors.

Unless specifically exempted, most federal contractors who have contracts of more than $10,000 are required to meet basic nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity requirements. However, depending on the number of employees and the dollar amount of the federal contract, some employers may have to develop one or more written affirmative action programs (AAPs):

  • Contractors with at least 50 employees that have contracts of $50,000 or more are required to develop written AAPs for EO 11246 and Section 503.
  • Contractors with at least 50 employees that have contracts of $150,000 or more are required to develop a written AAP for VEVRAA.

What is required under the Internet Applicant rule?

The Internet Applicant rule is a key component to OFCCP compliance, especially since many federal contractors now use online job boards or databases to source candidates. The Internet Applicant rule sets forth requirements for recordkeeping and solicitation of demographic information for all applicants who expressed interest for a position online, met the basic qualifications for the position, and were considered for the position by the contractor.

For candidate searches online, employers must:

  • Store all resumes of job seekers who were considered for the position and met the basic qualifications of the job. Basic qualifications include the skills, experience, and attributes that you are looking for in a candidate. They must be in writing, objective, noncomparative, job-related, and included in the job posting. Note: If you’re using an internal database, you must store every resume that was submitted and the date that it was submitted.
  • Save the time and date of any searches for candidates.
  • Save the search terms or keywords you used to search for candidates. This includes searches that go beyond the basic qualifications.
  • Request demographic data from all internet applicants. Demographic data includes race, sex, disability, and veteran status.
  • Store all of the above data for a period of two years. If you have fewer than 150 employees or less than $150,000 in federal contracts, you are only required to store the data for one year.

Visit the official OFCCP website for more information, resources, and latest updates.

To support your OFCCP compliance efforts, iHire offers a free voluntary self-identification form that can be added to your job’s application process. To learn more, visit our Job Ad Solutions page or contact one of our Account Managers at 877-433-8860.