Surviving an OFCCP Compliance Audit
Who is the OFCCP?
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is a Federal agency within the Department of Labor. The Agency ensures that employers with 50 or more employees with Federal contracts (including prime and subcontracts) exceeding $50,000 per year, comply with Equal Employment Opportunity laws and affirmative action.
What are the OFCCP requirements?
- The OFCCP requires employers to track and retain records and annual reporting requirements including EEO-1 and VETS-100 on applicants, hiring and employment practices. Compliance is required for all domestic and international recruiting activity for positions filled by US Nationals. Employers are required to obtain, when possible, gender, race and ethnicity (EEO) data on both applicants and hires.
- Applicant logs covering both job seekers and applicants should include, candidate name, date of application, job applied for, location applied for, race, sex and disposition
- Records must be kept for two years and need to include:
- Basic job descriptions and qualifications for all open positions
- All applicants that were “considered” including those found on internet searches
- Data Management techniques to reduce the # of applicants considered
- Candidates contacted about interest in a position-semi-passive and passive candidates, “cold calling”
- Applicant flow data
- Data for adverse impact analysis
Who does the OFCCP consider to be an “Applicant”?
“Applicants” are those individuals who meet the criteria below and are actually considered for a particular open position. An open position is officially posted or advertised. Being considered means that the employer reviewed and evaluated the individual’s qualifications—the individual does not have to be among the group of finalists considered for the job to be counted in this group.
- The applicant must express interest in an open position
- The applicant must complete your application process
- The applicant must meet your minimum qualifications
- The applicant does not withdraw from the process*
*If an applicant drops out at any point in the recruiting process, note the date, reason and how you learned they were no long interested.
What are acceptable reasons not to consider an individual for employment?
- Not minimally qualified: did not meet age, education, or experience requirements. Incomplete application, failed drug and/or background check.
- Candidate Withdrew: could not reach individual to follow up, candidate no longer interested, cannot work the required hours or didn’t like the work environment. Accepted another position during the recruiting process.
- Not the best qualified: met minimum requirements but had poor interview, other candidates had stronger work history, references were not favorable
Why should I be concerned?
The OFCCP conducts approximately 10,000 audits annually. The audit includes a comprehensive analysis and review of hiring practices and policies to determine if the employer maintains non-discriminatory hiring and employment practices. According to the International HR Conference last year, an OFCCP specialist noted that if your organization has not been audited, they might be in the near future. It was further noted that the OFCCP was using statistical analysis techniques to predict systematic discrimination in order to target compliance audits. The risks for non-compliance can be high. Fines and penalties in the tens of thousands of dollars can be imposed and the ultimate risk of debarment from working with the Federal Government.
What is the best way to ensure our organization is in compliance?
Implementing an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is the most efficient way to collect, track and maintain the OFCCP’s required information. Manual processes are inefficient, outdated, very time consuming, and often leave your organization vulnerable to a desk or on-site audit. The ability to supply the necessary information required for a desk or on-site audit, when tracked manually, can take an enormous amount of time and effort and can cripple your recruiting efforts. Applicant Tracking Systems should include the following:
- Maintenance of well written job descriptions
- Tracking where the open positions were posted
- Sufficient applicant data as previously mentioned above
- The number of applicants who applied and met the minimum qualifications
- Specific reason applicants were not considered (disposition)
- Customized reports on EEO data
Additional tips for surviving an OFCCP audit
- Develop an effective affirmative action plan and update annually
- List every job opening with the applicable state unemployment office
- Give the invitation to Self Identify from your Veterans/Disabled Plan to all individuals to whom an offer is made
- Keep detailed records of job postings, including an ID number, location and date posted
- Keep copies of all resumes and applications received, whether they met your minimum requirements or not
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