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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

Frequently Asked Questions for the Employee

Existing Laws

Complaints

Applicants

Jurisdiction


Existing Laws

What laws are handled by OFCCP?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) administers and enforces three equal employment opportunity laws: Executive Order 11246, as amended; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. 4212) (VEVRAA), as amended. These laws prohibit Federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran. They also require Federal contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative steps to ensure equal employment opportunity in their employment processes. OFCCP also shares responsibility with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in enforcing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Complaints

Who can file a complaint?

Any individual or groups of similarly situated individuals who believe that they have been discriminated against in employment by a Federal contractor or subcontractor on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran, may file a complaint with OFCCP.

Generally speaking, individual complaints filed under Executive Order 11246 will normally be referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for handling. Such referrals are made under a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Federal agencies. Complaints involving systemic discrimination or discrimination affecting groups of individuals will normally be investigated by OFCCP.

OFCCP will investigate both individual and group complaints filed under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. 4212), as amended.

If your employer is not a covered Federal contractor or subcontractor you may still be able to file a complaint against the company with EEOC. Information regarding filing a complaint with EEOC may be found on EEOC's website.


What are the procedures for filing a complaint?

A complaint may be filed with the OFCCP, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room C3325, Washington, DC 20210 by mail or in person, or with the nearest OFCCP Regional or District Area Office.

Complaints alleging violations of VEVRAA, as amended, may also be submitted to the Veterans' Employment and Training Service of the Department of Labor directly, or through the Local Veterans' Employment Representative at the local employment service office.

Persons filing complaints should include a description of the discrimination involved and any other related information that would assist in an investigation of the complaint, including, but not limited to:

  • the complainant's name, address, and telephone number;
  • the name, address and telephone number of the Federal contractor that is alleged to have discriminated; and
  • the date(s) the alleged violation(s) occurred.

All complaints must be signed by the complainant or his/her authorized representative.

You can get more information on how to file a complaint on OFCCP's Web site.


What are the time limits for filing a complaint?

All laws enforced by OFCCP have strict time limits within which complaints must be filed.

  • Complaints filed under Executive Order 11246, as amended, must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, unless the time for filing is extended by OFCCP for good cause shown.
  • Complaints filed under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, must be filed within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation, unless the time for filing is extended by OFCCP for good cause shown.
  • Complaints filed under VEVRAA, 38 U.S.C. 4212, as amended, must be filed within 300 days from the date of the alleged violation, unless the time for filing is extended by OFCCP for good cause shown.

To protect your legal rights, it is always best to contact OFCCP promptly when discrimination is suspected.


Are covered employers expected to give veterans employment preference under VEVRAA regulations?

Under VEVRAA regulations, Federal contractor employers are not required to:

  • give a veterans' preference toward employment;
  • develop veterans' availability analyses or utilization analyses, establish a hiring goal; or
  • hire from any particular group of applicants.

However, in accordance with the Veterans Preference Act of 1944, as amended, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 2108, a veterans' preference applies when eligible veterans seek employment with the Federal government.


Who can file a complaint under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. 4212), as amended (VEVRAA)?

Any applicant for employment with a contractor, or any employee of a contractor, who believes he or she is a veteran who may be protected under VEVRAA may file a complaint alleging a violation of the Act. The date on which the contractor entered its Government contracts may affect an individual's status as a protected veteran. The Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) amended VEVRAA by raising the dollar amount of the contract required for an employer to be covered under VEVRAA from $25,000 to $100, 000, and changing the categories of protected veterans. The JVA amendments to VEVRAA apply to contracts entered on or after December 1, 2003.

JVA eliminated the coverage category of veterans of the Vietnam era, added a new category of Armed Forces Service Medal veterans, expanded the coverage of veterans with disabilities to include all veterans with service connected disabilities, and expanded the coverage of recently separated veterans from one year after discharge or release from active duty, to three years. Many individuals previously categorized a Vietnam era veterans will continue to be covered under other categories (e.g., campaign veterans).

If a contractor has contracts that were entered prior to December 1, 2003, the effective date of the JVA amendments, the following categories of veterans are protected under VEVRAA:

  • Special disabled veterans - veterans who are entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for a disability rated at 30 percent or more, or rated at 10 or 20 percent in the case of veterans who have been determined to have a serious employment handicap; or veterans who were discharged because of a service-connected disability.
  • Vietnam era veterans - veterans who: (1) served on active duty for a period of more than 180 days, and were discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge, if any part of such active duty occurred: (a) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975; (b) between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, in all other cases; or (2) were discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability if any part of such active duty was performed: (a) in the Republic of Vietnam between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975, or (b) between February 28, 1964, and May 1975, in all other cases.
  • Campaign veterans - veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized. A list of covered campaigns is provided at the Office of Personnel Management's Web site.
  • Recently separated veterans - veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. military during the one-year period beginning on the date of their discharge or release from active duty.

If a contractor has contracts entered on or after December 1, 2003, the following categories of veterans are protected under VEVRAA:

  • Disabled veterans - veterans who are entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or who were discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • Campaign veterans - same definition as under pre-JVA amendments.
  • Armed Forces Service Medal veterans - veterans who participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces Medal was awarded.
  • Recently separated veterans - veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. military during the three-year period beginning on the date of their discharge or release from active duty.

Applicants

Does OFCCP have a preferred or recommended applicant rating system?

OFCCP does not have or recommend a particular applicant rating or ranking system. Federal contractors have flexibility in using the systems they prefer in identifying and ranking qualified applicants provided that the systems do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or status as a qualified individual with a disability or protected veteran.


Jurisdiction

Can OFCCP investigate unfair employment practices of other Federal agencies?

No.  OFCCP has no authority to investigate unfair employment practices involving other Federal agencies. Complaints against Federal agencies are normally processed by the internal civil rights offices of each agency. In addition, the EEOC has appellate jurisdiction over internal discrimination complaints processed through an agency's internal administration procedures.


What information regarding an employer can I request from OFCCP under Freedom of Information Act?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is required, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to disclose records requested in writing. However, OFCCP may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the FOIA. Consult the Guide for Requesting FOIA Records and list of Individual Components & Responsible FOIA Officials for FOIA requests. Links to DOL's FOIA resources and other FOIA resources can be found at the DOL Web site.