1. What OFCCP regulation allows federal contractors to afford an Indian preference?
  2. What is an Indian reservation?
  3. My company has facilities across the United States in areas with a large American Indian or Alaska Native population, but these facilities are not near an Indian reservation. Can the company still extend an Indian preference in employment?
  4. How should a federal contractor initiate outreach and recruitment with local tribes and Native Americans?
  5. When extending Indian preference, how should a federal contractor collect self-identification of Native American applicants?
  6. When working on or near an Indian reservation, can a federal contractor give preference in hiring to that particular tribe’s members?
  7. When extending Indian preference, do Native Americans still have to apply for an open position and meet the minimum qualifications of the job?
  8. If I have qualified Native American and non-Native American applicants, do I have to consider all qualified candidates?
  9. Is Indian preference limited to hiring only?
  10. How are placement goals for other groups impacted by Indian preference?
  11. What happens if adverse impact occurs against non-Native American race groups for positions where Indian preference is extended?
  12. How do the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) affect Indian preference?
  13. Is a federal contractor extending Indian preference for a job announcement exempt from the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requirement to list the employment opening with the employment service delivery system (ESDS)?

What OFCCP regulation allows federal contractors to afford an Indian preference?

41 CFR 60-1.5(a)(7) states: “It shall not be a violation of the equal opportunity clause for a construction or nonconstruction contractor to extend a publicly announced preference in employment to Indians living on or near an Indian reservation in connection with employment opportunities on or near an Indian reservation. The use of the word ‘near’ would include all that area where a person seeking employment could reasonably be expected to commute to and from in the course of a workday. Contractors or subcontractors extending such a preference shall not, however, discriminate among Indians on the basis of religion, sex, or tribal affiliation, and the use of such a preference shall not excuse a contractor from complying with the other requirements contained in this chapter.”

Back to Top


What is an Indian reservation?

According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ frequently asked questions, “A federal Indian reservation is an area of land reserved for a tribe or tribes under treaty or other agreement with the United States, executive order, or federal statute or administrative action as permanent tribal homelands, and where the federal government holds title to the land in trust on behalf of the tribe.” Approximately 56.2 million acres are held in trust by the United States for various Indian tribes and individuals. There are approximately 326 Indian land areas in the U.S. administered as federal Indian reservations (i.e., reservations, pueblos, rancherias, missions, villages, communities, etc.).”

Back to Top


My company has facilities across the United States in areas with a large American Indian or Alaska Native population, but these facilities are not near an Indian reservation. Can the company still extend an Indian preference in employment?

No, contractors may extend a publicly announced Indian preference only for employment opportunities on or near an Indian reservation. However, this does not limit the company from taking affirmative action to recruit and retain qualified Native American applicants.

Back to Top


How should a federal contractor initiate outreach and recruitment with local tribes and Native Americans?

Federal contractors should contact OFCCP’s Indian and Native American Employment Rights Program (INAERP) at 1-844-206-1836 or via email OFCCP-INAERP@dol.gov to discuss their employment needs. INAERP will connect contractors with recruitment sources that provide job placement services for individuals seeking employment.

Back to Top


When extending Indian preference, how should a federal contractor collect self-identification of Native American applicants?

A federal contractor should collect self-identification of race and ethnicity in the same manner it would when Indian preference is not extended. For further guidance on general self-identification principles, please read OFCCP’s FAQ on this topic.

Back to Top


When working on or near an Indian reservation, can a federal contractor give preference in hiring to that particular tribe’s members?

No, federal contractors extending Indian preference are prohibited from discriminating based on tribal affiliation.

Back to Top


When extending Indian preference, do Native Americans still have to apply for an open position and meet the minimum qualifications of the job?

Yes, all candidates must apply for open positions and meet the minimum job qualifications.

Back to Top


If I have qualified Native American and non-Native American applicants, do I have to consider all qualified candidates?

No, if the contractor utilizes a publically announced Indian employment preference and has a sufficient number of qualified Native American applicants to fill job vacancies it may not need to consider non-Native American applicants.

Back to Top


Is Indian preference limited to hiring only?

No, federal contractors maintaining publicly announced Indian employment preferences are permitted to extend such preferences to a broad array of employment actions, including hiring, promotion, layoff, termination, reinstatement, and reductions in force.

Back to Top


How are placement goals for other groups impacted by Indian preference?

Under OFCCP’s regulations (41 CFR 60-2.16(f)), contractors can adjust their placement goals to reflect the fact that they extend a publicly announced Indian employment preference.

Back to Top


What happens if adverse impact occurs against non-Native American race groups for positions where Indian preference is extended?

If the contractor implements Indian preference and the high selection rate of qualified Native American applicants is the sole factor causing adverse impact to other race groups, this would not be a violation of the equal opportunity clause.

Back to Top


How do the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) affect Indian preference?

The UGESPs do not “... restrict any obligation imposed or right granted by Federal law to users to extend a preference in employment to Indians living on or near an Indian reservation in connection with employment opportunities on or near an Indian reservation.” (41 CFR 60-3.2E)

Back to Top


Is a federal contractor extending Indian preference for a job announcement exempt from the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requirement to list the employment opening with the employment service delivery system (ESDS)?

No. The Equal Opportunity clause for VEVRAA-protected veterans requires that listing positions with the ESDS should occur at least concurrently with the use of any other recruitment source or effort, in order to provide protected veterans with priority in referrals for those listings. VEVRAA does not require priority in regards to selection, and therefore does not pose a direct conflict with Indian employment preference.

Back to Top


The contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.