Human Resources Update

Good documentation will help you survive federal compliance audit

In the last edition of the AGC magazine, I reviewed the human resource items required from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. This article will focus on how to survive an OFCCP audit.

OFCCP’s Federal Contractor Selection System is a neutral selection system that identifies federal contractor establishments for compliance evaluations. The FCSS process uses information sources such as federal acquisition and procurement databases, EEO-1 employer information reports, Dun & Bradstreet data, U.S. Census data and statistical thresholds such as industry type and employee counts of federal contractor establishments.

If selected for an audit, you need to be prepared to produce a list of all job openings in the audit period.

As you were required to list all openings with the state workforce agency or employment service, it will have a record of those placed with it, if you do not have a human resource information system.

If you are a union employer, it will also have referral information in its database. Ensure you have provided your EEO policy, commitment to affirmative action and non-discrimination policy against individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.

Make certain you have the “EEO Is the Law” poster and the Supplement poster in your break room or area where employees and applicants gather.

Review your EOE job posting tagline, which should include a statement that all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or disability.

Employers are encouraged to develop a policy or practice for processing requests for reasonable accommodations for disabled applicants or employees.

Confirm that your documents contain the required language of the equal opportunity clause in contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders and vendor agreements.

Review your employee manual or handbook to ensure you have included the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision and have posted it in the area where staff and applicants gather.

If you place job openings on the internet, understand what the OFCCP considers an internet applicant to be. The person must submit an interest in a job via the web, be considered for a position, possess the basic qualifications and may not remove himself or herself from consideration for the open position during the recruiting process.

Electronic data technologies include email, resume databases, job banks, electronic scanning technology, applicant tracking systems/service providers and applicant screeners.

As part of your recordkeeping for internet applicants, you must maintain the following and provide it to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance upon request:

  • Background information including position, search date and criteria, job advertising and postings.
  • All electronic expressions of interest from job seekers, including applications and resumes, even if the applicant fails to meet the basic qualifications.
  • Race, ethnicity and gender data.
  • Other records such as paper applications or resumes, tests and results as well as interview notes.

Employment records made or kept by a contractor must be retained for two years after the record was made or the personnel action was taken. This timeframe is reduced for contractors with less than 150 employees or a contract less than $150,000 to one year.

In addition to the above, to make the audit less stressful for you and the auditor, I strongly recommend the following.

  • Make sure you understand the mandatory job listing and reporting requirements and have the requested data readily available.
  • Have your Affirmative Action Plan ready and make sure the hiring managers can communicate how they comply with it. Document management staff training to ensure compliance.
  • Know the laws governing your contract and the OFCCP.
  • Produce copies of forms you are required to submit in compliance with the contract, such as the EEO-1 and your Vets 100 report.
  • Be prepared to give your full attention to the auditor and be able to produce the requested documents.

If you follow the above recommendations, you should survive the audit and find that good documentation is one of the key elements in reducing your stress level.