Thursday, February 14, 2019

Labor Department Announces New Voluntary Compliance Program

The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced yesterday a new voluntary enterprise-wide compliance program for high-performing Government contractors. Acceptance into the program means your company won't be audited for compliance with laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran for at least five years.

OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations and has recently expanded the number of reviews performed. However, the number of evaluations conducted annually covers a fraction of the total number of contractors that fall within OFCCP's jurisdiction. This new voluntary compliance program for high-performing contractors is intended to free up limited OFCCP resources for compliance effort at contractors who do not meet the high-performing criteria. Contractors that meet the top-performing criteria will be removed from the pool of contractors scheduled for compliance evaluations.

Here's some key elements of the program:

  • It's voluntary
  • It will recognized two tiers of contractors - a top tier and a tier that needs more assistance in becoming a top tier.
  • Contractors must apply to the program.
  • During the application process, OFCCP will perform a compliance evaluation.
  • To participate, contractors will demonstrate that they meet established criteria that verifies not only basic compliance with OFCCP's requirements, but a demonstrated commitment to and application of successful programs on a corporate-wide basis.
  • To remain in the program, contractors are expected to maintain a workforce free of discrimination or other material violations, and provide periodic reports and information to OFCCP through which OFCCP can confirm these efforts.
Decisions, decisions. Will contractors want to enter the voluntary compliance program with the guarantee of a compliance evaluation at the beginning and on-going reporting requirements or take their chances that they may be one of the unlucky ones selected for a periodic compliance review. 

Read the Labor Department Directive creating the voluntary compliance program here.

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