OFCCP offers more hurricane relief

On the heels of the exemption for Hurricane Harvey contractors, and given the additional widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, the federal government has extended a deadline affecting federal contractors and subcontractors.


The VETS-4212 report, which contractors must file annually between August 1 and September 30, has been extended this year for all contractors, regardless of location.  The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service posted on its website that contractors and subcontractors who file their VETS-4212 reports by November 15 will be considered timely.  This one-time, 45-day extension is due to the needs of those affected by the recent hurricanes.


As it did for Hurricane Harvey contractors previously, on September 7, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued a another National Interest Exemption Memorandum providing a three-month exemption on preparing written affirmative action plans for a very specific group of contractors and subcontractors.

According to the FAQs, the exemption applies only to contractors who have signed or will sign a new supply and service or construction contract between September 1 and December 1, 2017, solely for the “specific purpose of providing Hurricane Irma relief” and who do not otherwise have to comply with the regulations.

Does this apply to everyone who has a contract to provide hurricane relief? 

No. The exemption applies only to those companies that become covered contractors by virtue of a new contract aimed solely at providing Irma relief.

Who is not covered?

Any contractor that is required to comply with the regulations based on a non-Irma relief contract (whether that contract be old or new).

How do I know whether my contract is covered?

You can tell whether your contract falls within the exemption if the contract contains specific language in the Federal Acquisition Regulation sections where your affirmative action obligations are set out. Under Sections 52.222-26, 52-222-35, and 52.222-36, which describe your affirmative action obligations, covered contracts will now state, “Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the contractor will not be obligated to develop the written affirmative action program required under the regulations implementing” Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, or Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, respectively.

What relief is provided for those companies that fall within the exemption?

Contractors and subcontractors who fall within the exemption do not have to prepare written affirmative action programs.

What, if anything, do those companies that fall within the exemption have to do?

Contractors and subcontractors who fall within the exemption do have to comply with the non-discrimination provisions of the regulations, including the following:

  • Post the “Equal Opportunity is the Law” notice under E.O. 11246, VEVRAA, and Section 503;
  • Follow the recordkeeping and record retention requirements under all three laws; and
  • Comply with the VEVRAA requirement that job openings be posted with the appropriate employment service delivery system.

Image Credit: Hurricane photo from flickr, Creative Commons license, by Kabsik Park. 

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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