Federal contractors must use it to verify affirmative- action programs
On Dec. 2, 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Revealed its new online system that will be used to track and review federal contractors’ Affirmative Action Program (AAP) compliance.
OFCCP announced that the new online Contractor Portal will be required to be used by all covered federal contractors and subcontractors to certify, on an annual basis, that they have developed an AAP. Currently, supply and service contractors, but not construction contractors, are required to use the portal. The Contractor Portal will also be used by contractors to submit their AAP to OFCCP during compliance evaluations.
Federal contractors will be able to register for access to the portal starting on Feb. 1, 2022 and may submit their AAP compliance verification as early as March 31, 2022. The deadline for contractors to certify that they are in compliance with their AAP obligations for each establishment and/or functional unit is set for June 30, 2022.
OFCCP has published a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page to address basic questions about its new Contractor Portal, otherwise known as the Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface (AAP-VI). In its FAQs, OFCCP defines “covered” contractors as those who hold a contract of $50,000 or more and employ 50 or more employees. Those federal contractors must develop AAPs pursuant to Executive Order 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If a contractor has at least 50 employees and a contract of $150,000 or more, then it must also develop an AAP pursuant to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. OFCCP also clarifies that certifying AAP compliance will not exempt contractors from compliance audits.
Notably, OFCCP notes that the purpose of the online portal is to more efficiently track whether contractors are meeting their obligations to develop and maintain written AAPs. Federal contractors who have not kept their AAPs up to date should use this time to ensure that they come into compliance as soon as possible.
Christa Richer Cook is a member (partner) with Syracuse–based Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC. She assists clients with their labor and employment issues, including internal investigations, unemployment insurance, wage and hour issues, workforce reductions, and more. Contact Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is drawn from Bond’s New York Labor & Employment Law Report blog.