On July 1, 2016 The U.S. Department of Labor, 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. The changes that have been made are clarifying edits to help contractors further understand what information they are being asked to submit to the OFCCP, as well as 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.
Updates – Key Highlights:
OFCCP Scheduling Letter
In the first paragraph, “functional unit address” has been changed to, “name or description of functional unit” which is more meaningful to contractors who prepare functional affirmative action plans (FAAPs) because FAAPs are often not limited to employees at a single establishment, but, instead, 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. Directly following, the second paragraph removes the previous initial sentence which stated, “a compliance evaluation is initiated as a compliance review.”
The second page of the scheduling letter requests that contractors submit information regarding the 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.” Furthermore, 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.”
Item #14 describing the hiring benchmark under VEVRAA changed the last sentence from, “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,” to, “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, #17c was modified to clarify what information to submit to measure progress towards the immediately preceding AAP year. Formerly, it stated, “for goals not attained, describe the specific good faith efforts made to achieve them,” and now it states, “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, changed its wording from, “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,” to, “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 under a separate item, Item #18b, and states, “fires: For each job group or job title, this analysis must consist of the total number of hires identified by gender and race/ethnicity.”
Contractors should be mindful that if they receive a Scheduling Letter, the information requested is expected to be submitted to the OFCCP within 30 days of receipt of the letter. It is important to take time to review the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing to determine whether or not in the event the contractor would receive a Notice, the contractor would be prepared to submit accurate and complete reports and documentation requested in a timely manner.
Our Audit Readiness Checklist can also help your organization prepare for an OFCCP compliance audit before you receive a scheduling letter; download it here.