Affirmative Action Requirements for Federal Contractors

If you are a Federal contractor, it is almost certain that you are required to comply with certain Affirmative Action requirements. Affirmative Action requirements are triggered by Executive Order (EO) 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503), as well as the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Affirmative Action is intended not just to ensure that all persons are considered fairly in hiring decisions, but to impose proactive steps to recruit and advance certain qualified individuals.
Whether these requirements apply to you depends on the type and dollar value of the Federal contract(s) or subcontract(s) you have, as well as the number of individuals you employ. Under both EO 11246 and Section 503, an Affirmative Action Program (AAP) is required to be developed and implemented if you have 50 or more employees and at least one contract valued at $50,000 or more. Under VEVRAA, an AAP is required if you have 50 or more employees and at least one contract valued $150,000 or greater.

Affirmative Action requirements also differ among construction and non-construction contractors.

Non-construction contractors and sub-contractors must develop one or more WRITTEN AAPs, depending on whether your business meets the criteria for one or more of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) laws noted above.

If you are subject to Affirmative Action requirements, you also have administrative and reporting requirements under each of the respective laws, which include:• Maintaining additional personnel and employment records;

• Setting recruitment and placement goals;
• Inviting applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify race and gender, and when applicable, disability and veteran status; and
• Reporting data on the demographic breakdown of applicants and employees.

Construction contractors fall into one of two categories – (1) direct Federal construction contracts or (2) Federally assisted construction contracts.
Under EO 11246, neither typed is required to develop a written AAP. However, if either type has contracts or subcontracts valued at $10,000 or more, the regulations require you to follow 16 affirmative action steps enumerated in 41 CFR Section 60-4.3(a)(7)a.-p. (see https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=41:1.2.3.1.4&idno=41#se41.1.60_64_13).
And, while the AAP requirements under Section 503 and VEVRAA do not apply to Federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, they do apply to direct Federal construction contractors and subcontractors.

For further information on Affirmative Action requirements and sample AAPs, please review the links below:

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/hiring/affirmativeact#:~:text=For%20federal%20contractors%20and%20subcontractors,efforts%2C%20and%20other%20positive%20steps

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/compliance-assistance/sample-affirmative-action-programs

https://www.employer.gov/EmploymentIssues/Federal-contractor-requirements/Reporting/