OFCCP Letters in the Mail and New Directives

Affirmative Action

UPDATE: On September 24, 2018, the OFCCP made revisions to the latest Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter list so contractors should take a second look. As a reminder, CSALs are a "courtesy notification to an establishment selected to undergo a compliance evaluation." CSALs are NOT letters scheduling a compliance review. They are sent in advance of the scheduling letter that triggers a compliance review, with the purpose of providing companies at least 45 days advance notice to prepare (plus, companies get an additional 30 days once receiving the actual scheduling letter). Keep in mind, even if your company is not listed on a CSAL notification list, you could still receive a scheduling letter. Typical selection reasons include contract award evaluation, a focused review, or as a result of conciliation agreement or consent decree progress report monitoring.

On September 7, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) mailed 750 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to federal contractor establishments. The letters are notifications sent in advance of an official scheduling letter as a courtesy to inform the company that a compliance review will be forthcoming. CSALs are typically addressed to the HR representative at the facility chosen for the compliance review, and a copy will not be sent to the corporate offices.

Corporations can check to see if a CSAL has been sent to a particular facility by emailing a written request on company letterhead to the Division of Program Operations at OFCCP-DPO-Scheduling@dol.gov.

Key Takeaway
The CSAL essentially serves as a notice to contractors that its establishment is on the current compliance evaluation scheduling list. It is important to make sure all facilities are aware of the CSAL and scheduling letters. For example, if a letter comes addressed to the HR director at a facility which doesn’t have an HR representative, someone at the facility will need to know that it must be forwarded to the appropriate person immediately. From the day the scheduling letter (not the CSAL) is received a company only has 30 days to submit all required materials for review. Should your business receive a CSAL, please contact MRA’s Affirmative Action department for assistance.

New OFCCP Directives
FAAP Directive: The OFCCP recently proposed changes to its functional affirmative action plan process. According to the proposal, the OFCCP would (among other things) require contractors to renew an FAAP Agreement every five years, instead of every three years and eliminate the requirement that FAAP contractors undergo at least one compliance evaluation.

Affirmative action programs (AAPs) that only cover employees in one building at a specific geographical location do not always reflect how business actually operates. AAPs based on functional units, or FAAPs, often span geographical locations and are typically developed along lines of business or other organizational units and, therefore, provide a more complete picture of an organization.

Key Takeaway
Even though contractors have been able to develop FAAPs with approval from the OFCCP since 2002, the approval process has been criticized for being overly burdensome so many contractors decided not pursue FAAPs. These proposed changes aim to make the process easier.

Transparency Directive: This directive provides specific procedures that will help contractors comply with their obligations, know what to expect during a compliance evaluation, and protect workers from discrimination through the consistent enforcement of OFCCP legal authorities.

Ombud Directive: This directive launches a program to create an impartial and independent Ombud Service to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of specific types of concerns raised by OFCCP external stakeholders. Though there are not ramifications for contacting OFCCP, contractors are now assured that they always have a line of communication they feel they can trust to ask questions or raise concerns.

As always, MRA’s Affirmative Action team is here to assist with any questions.

Source: Michael Hyatt, Director, HR Government Affairs, MRA – The Management Association, Michelle Roloff, Affirmative Action Business Partner, MRA – The Management Association, DOL.gov