The OFCCP has made changes in its policies from time to time to make hiring procedures and workplaces more inclusive and to prevent discriminatory practices that may show up unknowingly. The department has released a number of announcements, including Proposals, Notices, and Directives, in 2023. This was done in an effort to start initiatives that will have a substantial influence on the affirmative action requirements for federal contractors.
Updated audit list
A lot of changes have been put forward by the OFCCP in their practices and policies in the new year. As one such modification, the department also released an updated list including the names of federal contractors who will be subject to audit in the upcoming months. This list is targeted at contractors who have failed to declare to the department that they have AAPs in place in their workplace. The OFCCP is using this technique to increase the non-compliance finding rates. Contractors should make sure to submit documents showcasing their compliance.
If your name shows up in the list of contractors, you should first check whether you had certified timely or even have the obligation to do so. If you have failed to certify and your name is on the list, keep all the necessary documents ready and prepare your employees for an audit. OFCCP will also consider scheduling challenges if the contractor can prove that the scheduling was unwarranted.
OFCCP has proposed 13 significant additions, some of which deal with outreach, recruitment, promotions, and compensation in its new directive. These changes can result in fewer audits, longer audits, and a shift from the triage strategy. The OFCCP might also find it challenging to stick to a 45-day audit process. Contractors should prepare themselves for these changes. Contractors should also be cautious about establishing pay equity self-audits since OFCCP has revised its position to stress acknowledgment of lawyer-client confidentiality. Employers must also be ready to produce an affidavit outlining this self-audit if such a necessity arises. It is advisable to proceed with an abbreviated or qualitative analysis that could be published rather than a thorough quantitative study.
Neurodiversity in offices
The DOL has, in the new year, released a new directive that deals with hiring neurodivergent employees in workplaces. It contains new materials that assist businesses in finding, hiring, retaining, and advancing neurodivergent workers. Contractors should be mindful of the directives of the DOL and work towards making their workplaces inclusive of neurodivergent employees. The job postings and interview procedures should also be made inclusive. The DOL has also recommended training the staff and management to make workplaces neurodivergent worker-friendly.
AI in workplaces
The increasing use of AI has motivated PEAT to release some guidelines regarding its use in workplaces. Employers should make their AI-run system inclusive and check that it is producing fair results.
OFCCP compliance is necessary for contractors and employers looking to work with the federal government. Contractors should ensure that they are familiar with every policy update released by the OFCCP and make their workplace compliant with the new policies.