OFCCP COVID-19 Response
(Reposted from Dept of Labor website)
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, OFCCP is continuing to pursue its important mission of ensuring equal employment opportunity while making adjustments to ensure all of its activities are consistent with current public health guidelines. According to OFCCP’s bulletin sent on March 20, 2020, OFCCP will continue to provide resources and assistance to workers and the contractor community through its website, Help Desk, and Contractor Assistance Portal, although local offices will no longer be accepting walk-ins until further notice. OFCCP continues to be fully engaged in enforcing affirmative action and non-discrimination requirements as to the approximately 25,000 federal contractors and 120,000 federal contractor establishments (as well as subcontractors). OFCCP intends to closely look at the pandemic period in future audits to ensure that companies did not discriminate or retaliate in employment actions being taken, and that affirmative action and equal employment opportunity continued.
OFCCP will make every effort to continue assessing the effects of the health crisis on our activities and will provide updates to the federal contractor community as soon as possible.
If you need assistance with any other OFCCP matters related to the health crisis, please contact our Help Desk at 1-800-397-6251. The hearing impaired may call the text telephone (TTY) at 1-877-889-5627 or submit an inquiry online.
For additional related resources, please reference the EEOC’s Guidance on ensuring non-discrimination in relation to the pandemic, particularly in relation to HIPAA, the ADA, and Section 503
Extensions and Adjustments
OFCCP will continue its compliance reviews, focused reviews, and complaint investigations, but in lieu of physical on-sites, OFCCP will maximize use of every alternative resource available, such as WebEx, Skype, and phones to conduct interviews and complete our evaluations.
If contractors are experiencing difficulty in having their employees accessible during a review or experiencing any other challenges related to the health crisis, OFCCP will remain flexible by coordinating with them and providing reasonable extensions where needed. Contractors and complainants should reach out to their local OFCCP point of contact to check the status of open evaluations and investigations.
National Interest Exemption
To facilitate response efforts for COVID-19, OFCCP issued a National Interest Exemption memorandum to grant a limited, three-month exemption and waiver from some of the requirements of the laws administered by the agency solely in relation to contracts providing COVID-19 relief. OFCCP regulations authorize the OFCCP Director to exempt contracts from requiring the inclusion of any part of the equal opportunity clause in any specific contract when special circumstances in the national interest so require, when it is impracticable to act upon requests for exemptions individually, and where such waiver will contribute to convenience in the administration of the authorities enforced by OFCCP. As with NIE’s granted under previous administrations, this exemption and waiver extends to all affirmative action obligations of supply and service and construction contracts, and other obligations under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. OFCCP continues to fully enforce all of its requirements as to existing contractors. NIEs were granted in prior administrations.