At the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), we protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law. OFCCP holds those who do business with the federal government (contractors and subcontractors) responsible for complying with the legal requirement to take affirmative action and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.
In 2009, the Employment Standards Administration was abolished and its four major program components became stand‐alone programs reporting directly to the Secretary of Labor: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and the Wage and Hour Division. The Office of the Assistant Secretary and the Office of Management, Administration and Planning (OMAP) were eliminated with administrative functions in OMAP transferred to the four programs or departmental administrative programs.
OFCCP’s Enforcement Procedures
In carrying out its responsibilities, the OFCCP uses the following enforcement procedures:
- Offers compliance assistance to federal contractors and subcontractors to help them understand the regulatory requirements and review process.
- Conducts compliance evaluations and complaint investigations of federal contractors and subcontractors personnel policies and procedures.
- Obtains Conciliation Agreements from contractors and subcontractors who are in violation of regulatory requirements.
- Monitors contractors and subcontractors progress in fulfilling the terms of their agreements through periodic compliance reports.
- Forms linkage agreements between contractors and Labor Department job training programs to help employers identify and recruit qualified workers.
- Recommends enforcement actions to the Solicitor of Labor.
- The ultimate sanction for violations is debarment – the loss of a company’s federal contracts. Other forms of relief to victims of discrimination may also be available, including back pay for lost wages.
The OFCCP has close working relationships with other Departmental agencies, such as: the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the DOL, the Office of the Solicitor, which advises on ethical, legal and enforcement issues; the Women’s Bureau, which emphasizes the needs of working women; the Office of Apprenticeship, which establishes policies to promote equal opportunities in the recruitment and selection of apprentices; and the Employment and Training Administration, which administers Labor Department job training programs for current workforce needs.
OFCCP has a national network of six Regional Offices, each with District and Area Offices in Major Metropolitan Centers. OFCCP focuses its resources on finding and resolving systemic discrimination. The agency has adopted this strategy to:
- Prioritize enforcement resources by focusing on the worst offenders;
- Encourage employers to engage in self audits of their employment practices; and
- Achieve maximum leverage of resources to protect the greatest number of workers from discrimination.
Craig E. Leen
Patricia J. Davidson
OFCCP Office Directory