10 Ways to Positively Close Out Your Affirmative Action Plan Year


By Pamela Ploor December 15, 2017
10 Ways to Positively Close Out Your Affirmative Action Plan Year

Federal contractors are required to do a number of tasks during the affirmative action plan year. Because those tasks are not reported on until an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audit, they often fall to the bottom of the "to do" list. Now is a good time to pull that plan off the shelf (or electronic folder) to see how the company is doing on what it said it was going to do in the plan year.

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Here is a list of ten items contractors should review to ensure compliance during the affirmative action plan year:

  • Review the results of adverse impact analyses for applicants to hires, employees to promotions, and employees to terminations, and follow up on the results that are statistically significant to ensure the company can explain the results.
  • Review personnel processes for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans in a form that allows the contractor to prove its review (i.e., a checklist). Common issues are parking lot and building accessibility, Braille signage, visibility of posters to a person in a wheelchair, and website accessibility.
  • Audit compliance with periodic review of physical and mental qualifications in job descriptions, review of denied requests for reasonable accommodation, implementation of anti-harassment practices related to disabled individuals and protected veterans, designation of person responsible for affirmative action in all communications, annual manager training on a contractor's obligations, progress against disabled individuals' goal of 7 percent, and the contractor's hiring benchmark for protected veterans. This review should be documented so the contractor may show its audit to OFCCP.
  • Review the company's self-identification questions for race, sex, disability and protected veteran status. The company should confirm that each question has an option for a person to decline to self-identify and that the questions cannot be skipped. The company should confirm that it is using the mandatory language for disability self-identification. It is common for the self-identification questions approved by the employee handling OFCCP compliance to be changed when implemented within an electronic applicant tracking system.
  • Review purchase order terms and conditions to ensure OFCCP's required clauses are included.
  • Update the equal employment opportunity policy for the upcoming calendar year and get it signed so it may be posted (calendar year AAPs only).
  • Ensure the contractor posted an "Invitation to Self-Identify" to encourage protected veterans and disabled people to self-identify themselves to the company.
  • Assess external recruitment sources for protected veterans and disabled people and be willing to end relationships with poor performing sources. Again, document your assessment.
  • Prepare report on affirmative action results to management.
  • Conduct discrimination-focused compensation analysis, which is an annual requirement for a contractor.

Pamela Ploor is a partner in the Milwaukee office of law firm Quarles & Brady. © 2017 Quarles & Brady. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.

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