Don't Lose Sight of the Original Goal

Don't Lose Sight of the Original GoalIt’s Important To Remember

With all of the recent focus regarding the new VERRVA and Section 503 final rules it is important that hiring entities do not lose sight of the underlying rules, regulations, mandates of the original Executive Order 11246.

Specifically, “discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” is not legal in the United States of America. The Executive Order also requires “Government contractors to take affirmative action to insure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment”. This is actually where the term Affirmative Action used in context referring to employment and hiring comes from.

How To Be Sure That You Are Acting in An Accepted Manner

In the event that you receive a notice of intent that your company is to be the subject of an OFCCP compliance review, the entire corporate Affirmative Action Plan and its implementation is going to be the focus of the review and it will not be limited to Section 503 and Vevraa. There will be certain procedures and practices used by the OFCCP no matter who you are or what you do. This still applies even if you have a government contract doing at least the minimum dollar volume in revenue, or if you do the requisite dollar volume in contracted business with a third party government contractor (as a supplier).

These OFCCP reviews can include anything and everything from looking at your AAP, going through the employment records, payroll, hiring practices, recruitment and retention. If the field investigator knocks on your door know that he/she will also be looking to see if you are making “special efforts to achieve equal opportunity through AA”. As per usual if any problems or inadequacies are discovered the field investigator should/will recommend the appropriate corrective measures to assist in your company’s implementation of total EEO policies.

What Does All of This Mean?

When you are working on your AAP in regards to Section 503 and VERRVA use the same the basic tools as those company developed to ensure compliance with the original Executive Order 11246 to ensure equal opportunity for all your employees without any exceptions. Over time there have been additions, deletions, and some new definitions but the intentions of the company AAP should be consistent no matter if you are trying to comply with Executive order 11246, Section 503, or VEVRAA. Your goal as an HR/Diversity or Compliance Manager should always remain simply: equal opportunity in the workplace.

Take advantage of the resources that are available to you. There are ways and means currently at your disposal that will allow you to accomplish your goals, improve, and assist with the implementation of your AAP and OFCCP compliance.

It Looks Good

Implementing your company’s AAP to appease the OFCCP will also raise your company’s reputation with your community (which is also something the OFCCP looks at anyway). To do so, look to your Good Faith Efforts (GFE’s).

These GFE’s are an integral and important part of both the AAP and recruitment efforts. The most obvious way to get this done is to utilize community based resources, specifically minority community based resources. This is especially true when recruiting targeted minority candidates for employment.

When you take advantage these minority community resources you have passed the litmus test in regards to the GFE’s the OFCCP is looking for. This is especially true when combining your efforts and resources to work with an all-encompassing AAP.

Look for resources that specifically cater to individual minority communities. Find partners that are respected in their respective minority demographics and are OFCCP-recognized. The reason why is simple: resources like these reach directly into the specifically targeted talent pool as well as the minority community they represent. Perception or what we see still counts for much of what we think.

About the Author

Mark Cohen has been working since 1995 to promote diversity and equality in the workplace through minority recruitment and community outreach. In his position as VP and Director of New Business Development at Equality Mark has become a recognized authority on minority recruitment and good faith compliance efforts. and its family of Diversity Recruitment Vehicles have been at the forefront of recruitment, compliance and minority community outreach. Since 1997 they have been advocates of promoting diversity in America’s workforce; bringing the vast and talented pools of African-American, Hispanic, veteran, and female workers to the companies that need them.