OMB reviewing changes to scheduling letters

The changes aren’t as drastic as initially proposed!

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has submitted its proposed changes to the scheduling letters to the Office of Management and Budget for approval. As we discussed in April, the OFCCP was initially proposing very significant substantive changes to the scheduling letter & itemized listing, the compliance check scheduling letter, and the focused review scheduling letter for compliance evaluations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

Apparently, the OFCCP heeded comments that were critical of the suggested changes. Many of the proposed revisions do not appear in the new versions submitted to the OMB for approval.

Here are some of the previously proposed changes that OFCCP removed from the scheduling letter and itemized listing:

  • The OFCCP has eliminated the request that contractors provide the specific racial categories of employees in the job group analysis, availability determination, setting of placement goals, and analysis of progress toward prior year goals. Thus, contractors would not be required to analyze the workforce and set goals for individual racial groups or for racial groups of a specific sex.
  • The OFCCP is no longer proposing that contractors submit their compensation analysis.
  • The OFCCP has removed the requirement that contractors that are more than six months into their current AAP year provide year-to-date data for “every completed month of the year.” The new proposal retains the existing language requiring such contractors to submit data for “at least the first six months” of the current year. 
  • The new proposal omits the request for the “pool of candidates” for promotions. Rather, contractors would now be required to produce “the workforce representation of women and minorities in the job group from which the person(s) was promoted.” 
  • The OFCCP has removed the need to designate terminations as either voluntary or involuntary.
  • The OFCCP has modified the proposal regarding submission of information on subcontractors. Instead of requiring a list of the contractor’s three largest subcontractors by value, the agency is proposing that contractors provide information on the three most recently awarded subcontracts that are worth $150,000 or more. 

Regarding the compliance check scheduling letter, the OFCCP has made minimal changes to its proposal. The agency still seeks to obtain all three written affirmative action plans (Executive Order 11246, Section 503, and VEVRAA). However, instead of requiring contractors to submit requests for accommodations and whether they were granted or denied, the new version requests only “examples of accommodations made for” individuals with a disability.

The OFCCP has not made many changes to its focused review scheduling letters (Section 503 and VEVRAA). Similar to the change made in the regular itemized listing, the OFCCP has eliminated the proposed requirement that contractors that are more than six months into their current year provide data for “each completed month” of the current year and requests data for at least the first six months of the current year. 

The agency has also removed the proposed mandate that the applicant and employee data include a unique and consistent identifier for each individual across all databases. Apparently recognizing that applicant tracking systems and human resources information systems are not typically compatible, the OFCCP has added that “it is permissible to use a different identifier in the applicant database than the identifier used in the employee database.” 

However, the OFCCP has retained the detailed employee and applicant-level data requests, including the following:

  • Whether the applicant or employee was hired, promoted, or terminated
  • Job title and job group for which each applicant applied
  • Job title and job group of each employee hired, promoted, or terminated
  • Date each employee was hired or promoted
  • Whether the employee was an external hire or promotion
  • Date of each employee termination

Changes to this section include a new request for the job titles and job groups into and from which employees were promoted. For internal promotions, the OFCCP has added a request for “workforce representation (number of individuals with disabilities and total employees) of individuals with disabilities in the AAP job group from which the employee was promoted.” 

The request for employee-level compensation information remains in the proposed focused review letters. 

Another round of comments!

The OMB is accepting comments on the OFCCP’s proposal until July 29, 2019. Although many of the OFCCP’s most burdensome changes were eliminated, there are still significant changes that increase the burden on contractors. Contractors are encouraged to make their voices heard again! 

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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