On July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing have been renewed by the Office of Management and Budget. The revised letter used by the OFCCP to initiate supply and service compliance evaluations becomes effective on July 1, 2016 and expires on June 30, 2019.
Changes made are clarifying edits to help contractors further understand information they must submit to the OFCCP, and to provide a more in-depth description of the investigatory and enforcement process. The revised Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing contain no requests for additional information to be submitted to the OFCCP.
Here are key highlights to help federal contractors understand these updates.
Updates to the OFCCP Scheduling Letter
In the first paragraph, “functional unit address” has been changed to “name or description of functional unit.” This term is more meaningful to contractors who prepare functional affirmative action plans (FAAPs) because FAAPs are often not limited to employees at a single establishment. Instead, FAAPs include employees working within a particular organizational function located across various locations.
The sentence that follows also states whether the contractor is scheduled for a compliance review, FAAP compliance review, or corporate management compliance evaluation. This updated paragraph also omits a previous sentence, which stated that “a compliance evaluation is initiated as a compliance review.”
The second page of the scheduling letter requests that contractors submit information regarding Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act AAP, as well as the VEVRAA AAP.
Although the content of what is being requested in this section has not changed, the OFCCP has changed the verbiage by splitting out the information previously requested under #2 into two separate items. Item #2 now only requests the current Section 503 AAP narrative, and item #3 requests a copy of the VEVRAA narrative.
The scheduling letter ends by clarifying how information submitted may be shared “with other enforcement agencies within DOL, as well as with other federal civil rights enforcement agencies with which we have information sharing agreements.”
It further clarifies that “the public may seek disclosure of the information you provide during a compliance evaluation. Under current law and regulations, OFCCP is required to comply with Freedom of Information Act, the Trade Secrets Act, the Privacy Act, and the 1987 Executive Order governing the disclosure of confidential commercial information.
Updates to the Itemized Listing
Item #14 describing the hiring benchmark under VEVRAA changed the last sentence as follows:
Original: “If you are six months or more into your current AAP year on the date you receive this listing, please also submit information that reflects current year results.”
New: “If you are six months or more into your current AAP year on the date you receive this listing, please also submit current year hiring data to measure against your benchmark.”
Under the “Support Data” section of the Itemized Listing, Item #17c was modified to clarify what information to submit to measure progress towards the immediately preceding AAP year.
Original: “For goals not attained, describe the specific good faith efforts made to achieve them.”
Update: “For goals not attained, describe the specific good faith efforts made to remove identified barriers, expand equal employment opportunity, and produce measurable results.”
Item #18(a) which describes applicant information to be submitted, also changed its wording.
Original: “This analysis must consist of the total number of applicants and the total number of hires, as well as the number of African-American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, White, and the number of female and male applicants and hires.”
Update: “For each job group or job title, this analysis must consist of the total number of applicants identified by gender and by race/ethnicity.”
Also, the hire information requested in the previous itemized listing is now requested separately under Item #18b. This item now states as follows: “For each job group or job title, this analysis must consist of the total number of hires identified by gender and race/ethnicity.”
Remember, if your organization receives a Scheduling Letter, OFCCP expects information requested within 30 days of receipt of the letter. Contractors should closely review the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing to determine whether—if you subsequently receive a Notice—you’re prepared to submit complete and accurate reports and documentation in a timely manner.