OFCCP Federal Contractor Update
Despite the uncertainty that the COVID-19 crisis has brought to our workplaces, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) appears to be operating at near to full strength, issuing several new forms, directives, and programs in the last few months. Let’s get caught up.
OFCCP Issues New Disability Self-Identification Form
On May 8, 2020, the OFCCP issued a revised Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form (CC-305). Federal contractors must begin using this form by August 4, 2020. Keep in mind that this form must be provided to applicants at the pre-offer and post-offer phases, as well as used to ask current employees to self-identify every five years. The form can be accessed here.
Keep in mind that contractors may create an electronically fillable version of this form so long as the new form meets certain requirements. Specifically, the form must:
- Display the OMB number and expiration date;
- Contain the text of the form without alteration;
- Use a sans-serif font, such as Calibri or Arial; and
- Use at least 11-pitch for font size (except for the footnote and burden statement, which must be at least 10-pitch in size).
Additionally, non-substantive changes, such as changes to font, margins, and colors are permissible to ensure that the form is accessible to applicants and employees with print disabilities. However, contractors may not:
- Alter the content (i.e., text or wording) of the form;
- Alter the order of the content on the form; or
- Alter the form or make changes that diminish the general accessibility of the form.
Again, contractors can begin using this form immediately, or choose to use the old version until August 3, 2020. In any event, all contractors must begin using the form as of August 4, 2020.
OFCCP Sets 2020 Vets Hiring Benchmark
Effective March 31, 2020, the 2020 Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRAA”) hiring benchmark is now 5.7% percent, down from 6.4% in 2019.
OFCCP Issues New Directives
In April 2020, the OFCCP issued three new directives aimed to maximize the effectiveness of its compliance assistance resources, increase accountability, and resolve federal contractor compliance evaluations more efficiently. These new directives include:
- Efficiency in Compliance Evaluations (DIR 2020-02). This directive outlines new steps the OFCCP will take to efficiently and expeditiously resolve compliance evaluations. Shortening the duration of compliance evaluations is a significant OFCCP objective for FY2020, and good news for contractors.
- Pre-Referral Mediation Program (DIR 2020-03). This directive establishes a mediation program aimed to help resolve matters before spending significant time and resources in the enforcement process. This program will be available to federal contractors and subcontractors to resolve findings of discrimination before referral to the Office of the Solicitor for enforcement.
- Ombuds Service Supplement and Protocol (DIR 2020-04). This directive outlines the Ombuds Service Protocol, which explains the principles of the OFCCP’s Ombuds Service. The Ombuds Service is now available to assist federal contractors. The ombudsman is intended to be a neutral and confidential resource to address contractor, employee, or other stakeholder concerns related to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. More information about the Ombuds Service can be found here.
We will continue to monitor for any additional developments relevant to federal contractors and affirmative action compliance.