Understanding the OFCCP compliance definition begins with knowing who Federal contractors are. A business that directly or indirectly sells products and services to the Federal government is considered a Federal contractor or sub-contractor. Organizations that receive research grants, obtain federal insurance, or receive reimbursements are also considered to be Federal contractors. In essence, any organization that receives Federal funds above a certain amount may be considered a Federal contractor or sub-contractor. Businesses representing a wide variety of industries such as healthcare, financial services, technology, manufacturing, research, and educational institutions are prime examples of Federal contractors.
Knowing the OFCCP compliance definition also includes understanding the role of the OFCCP – the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs. The OFCCP enforces equal opportunity and non-discrimination regulations for Federal contractor compliance. It is a relatively small division within the US Department of Labor, but has the power to penalize or even disbar Federal contractors for non-compliance. The goal of the OFCCP is to ensure that employment created by the use of Federal funds are equally available to all Americans – irrespective of an employee’s race, color, national origin, and other attributes not related to the performance of employment duties.
Federal contractors are required by the OFCCP to not only prevent discrimination in their recruiting and workplace practices, but also to engage in proactive affirmative action efforts. These recruiting efforts must include initiatives to find and employ applicants from protected and/or under-represented groups. The OFCCP requires Federal contractors to follow mandatory ESDS job posting and reach out to diverse groups of applicants. This additional layer of the recruiting effort often supplements an organization’s own career site and other recruitment advertising practices.
A recruitment program that reaches and attracts applicants from protected and under-represented groups is a key component of the OFCCP compliance definition. The protected groups commonly refer to transitioning veterans and persons with disabilities. Underrepresented groups may refer to as women, minorities such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians or Native Americans. Special groups such as LGBTQ are also considered among the under-represented. Employers must engage in the posting and distribution of their job openings to maximize reach to applicants from the various under-represented groups. Posting the job openings in state workforce system job banks (ESDS), and on job boards targeting the such groups are required. In addition, it is also required to send these job postings to local state workforce centers and diversity organizations that provide employment assistance. Find more information about our OFCCP compliance solution here.