More and more small businesses are becoming involved in ‘service and supply’ contracting with the US government. Navigating the waters of requirements and regulations can be difficult for those new to the process of government contracting. The exact requirements and regulations that apply depend on the characteristics of your business, the types of contracts you have been awarded, etc. Legal counsel is best positioned to advise you of your obligations, and any legal or regulatory questions should be posed to your attorney. However, there are six Equal Employment Opportunity requirements that ‘supply and service’ Federal contractors must satisfy.
Don’t Discriminate: Federal contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from engaging in workplace employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Employment discrimination takes different forms. Employment discrimination is illegal and generally results when a person is treated differently (usually less favorably) because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, employment discrimination can result when a neutral policy or practice has an adverse impact on the members of any race, sex, or ethnic group and the policy or practice is not job related or required by business necessity.
Post EEO Posters: Federal contractors are required to post OFCCP’s Equal Employment Opportunity Poster in a conspicuous place. A good place to post it is in a locker or lunchroom or an area where employees can take breaks. You can obtain the Equal Employment Opportunity Poster by contacting the nearest OFCCP office.
Include the EEO Tag Line in employment advertising: Federal contractors are required to state in all solicitations or advertisements for employment that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Keep Records: Federal contractors are required to maintain any personnel or employment records made or kept by the contractor. Examples of records that must be maintained include:
- job descriptions
- job postings and advertisements
- record of job offers
- applications and resumes
- interview notes
- tests and test results
- written employment policies and procedures
- personnel files
Federal contractors must keep these records for a period of two years from the date of the personnel action or the creation of the personnel record, whichever occurs later. If contractors have fewer than 150 employees or a contract of less than $150,000, records must be kept for only one year.
Permit OFCCP access to books and records during a complaint investigation or compliance investigation: When a complaint is filed against a Federal contractor, or when a Federal contractor is selected to undergo a compliance evaluation, the contractor is obligated to allow OFCCP access to its premised for the purpose of conducting an on-site investigation. The contractor must permit OFCCP to inspect and copy the books and records that may be relevant to the matter under investigation and pertinent to compliance with the requirements of Executive Order 11246.
File an Annual EEO-1 Report: The Standard Form 100, Employer Identification Report (EEO-1 Report) requires that employers report on the number of employees by race, ethnicity and gender by job category. The EEO-1 Report must be filed annually by contractors who meet any of the following criteria:1. All private employers that are subject to Title VII and have 100 or more employees2. All Federal contractors with 50 or more employees that have either:
- a contract, subcontract, or purchase order of $50,000 or more
- serve as a depository of Government funds in any amount
- a financial institution that serves as issuing and paying agent of U.S. Savings Bonds and Savings Notes
These six Equal Employment Opportunity requirements apply to all ‘supply and service’ Federal contractors. For additional information on your obligations as a Federal contractor, consult your legal counsel.* The US Department of Labor has prepared a guide to assist small businesses with OFCCP compliance. The information summarized in this post is taken from “OFCCP’s Guide for Small Businesses with Federal Contracts”; the PDF version of this guide can be found here.