OFCCP softens its stance on conducting audits

Perhaps it’s not quite business as usual after all.

Last week we reported that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced that it was essentially operating as normal, regardless of the nationwide coronavirus pandemic. Other than offering to conduct onsite compliance evaluations by remote means, the agency stated that it would continue issuing Scheduling Letters and investigating contractors even though many businesses have essentially shutdown.

Today, the National Industry Liaison Group shared with local ILG chapters that the OFCCP intends to ease off its “full steam ahead” approach. According to the NILG, the OFCCP has advised that it will institute the following protocols:

  • Grant an automatic 30-day extension for submission of AAPs after receipt of Scheduling Letter
  • Grant an automatic additional 30-day extension to contractors who submit their written AAP narrative within 60 days of receipt of scheduling letter (i.e., provide another 30 days for submission of all data reports and analyses)
  • Grant an automatic extension of 14 days, and more commonly of 30 days, for contractor response to information requests, with opportunity for further extensions as needed
  • Conduct 503 focused review onsites via video or phone conference only until contractors begin resuming normal operations

The OFCCP also stated that it will “liberally grant” further requests for extensions for contractors continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

These are obviously welcome changes for contractors overwhelmed with a multitude of compliance and HR issues. Contractors that experience problems with not receiving appropriate extensions are encouraged to contact the OFCCP Ombuds, Marcus Stergio, at Stergio.Marcus@dol.gov or 202-693-1174.

Our Affirmative Action Alert blog focuses on the latest news and topics affecting federal contractors and subcontractors and their compliance with affirmative action and other employment-related laws and regulations.  With breaking news, quick updates, and headlines on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and affirmative action issues, this blog is a great resource for in-house counsel, HR managers, and other compliance professionals.  Our blog is a companion to Constangy’s Affirmative Action newsletters, which address significant legislative, regulatory, and administrative proposals and changes.  Subscribe to both to stay current on these important topics!

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