The OFCCP Is Coming, The OFCCP Is Coming! Federal Contractors Put on Notice of Coming Audits
If your company is one of the 1,000 federal contractor establishments (including
prime contractors and subcontractors) that received a corporate scheduling
announcement letter (a “CSAL”) from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Programs (the “OFCCP”), you probably already know that, as a federal
contractor, your company has many employment obligations beyond those
applicable to employers in general. You should also be aware that the OFCCP, in
sending these CSALs — which it is not required to do — is actually giving companies
some extra time to make sure their practices are up to snuff. While not every
company who has received CSALs will end up being audited, these letters provide
companies a golden opportunity to review and, if necessary, correct their
practices before the OFCCP comes knocking.
So what happens next? If you received a CSAL, you will have at least 45
days until the official scheduling letter arrives (which may not arrive at all
if it turns out you’re not on the OFCCP’s audit list). Once that scheduling
letter arrives, you must submit your Affirmative Action Program within 30 days.
Given that things move pretty quickly once the scheduling letter arrives, it is
highly advisable that contractors who have received a CSAL take advantage of
the extra time, and conduct an internal review of their affirmative action
Conducting a review is especially important if the task of preparing
your company’s affirmative action plan has historically been delegated to human
resources consultants or lower level employees in your human resources
department. Too often plans erroneously find disparities in the expected number
of minorities or females in specific positions because the consultant relied on
incorrect demographic information or conducted a flawed statistical analysis.
Correcting these mistakes before you are audited is essential. Otherwise, your
own affirmative action plans could be used against you in litigation.
And what if your company has not received a CSAL? The OFCCP may still
initiate a review based on a contract award or individual complaint. While
there may not be the same urgency to review your plans, if your company has not
done so in the last several years, it may not be a bad time for a checkup.