The facility inspection is an opportunity for COs to observe and evaluate the working conditions in departments or other organizational units of a contractor’s establishment. It is also an opportunity to observe the composition and concentration of groups by sex, race, ethnicity, and disability. COs also use the inspection process to observe work performed in different job titles, and to conduct brief focused interviews with supervisors and employees to obtain information about the facility and the work performed there. The CO will also conduct more formal interviews of supervisors, employees and the top union official, as appropriate, during the on-site visit.
By observing how employees complete their work, particularly in any job titles identified as problem areas, COs develop a better understanding of the functions and conditions of the job positions. This understanding contributes to a CO’s ability to make decisions and assess matters such as the relationship of certain job criteria for selecting individuals for certain jobs. For example, if females are underrepresented in a particular job title for which “the ability to lift 50 pounds” is a selection criterion, a CO may observe that the job is done with mechanical equipment doing the lifting rather than the employee. Further, the CO may observe that employees rarely lift 50 pounds without assistance from another employee. This observation allows the CO to question the contractor regarding:
- The timing and nature of the development of the selection criterion;
- The assessment that the criterion is job-related and consistent with business necessity;
- The changes in the selection process since the criterion’s development;
- The point in the selection process when the selection criterion is applied; and
- The contractor’s assessment of the validity of the selection criterion as a measure of whether an applicant can perform the job.
A facility inspection also allows COs to make observations regarding possible physical accessibility issues for employees with known disabilities. The presence of physical barriers does not mean that disability discrimination exists. Rather, a CO may use this opportunity to provide compliance assistance on providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans. The CO may also ask about the contractor’s process for receiving and handling requests for accommodation.
During the inspection, COs must visually confirm the display of EEO posters and AAP policy statements required under Section 503 and VEVRAA. Contractors are required to conspicuously display the “EEO is the Law” poster, the required supplement and the notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) required by Executive Order 13496.96 Additionally, COs must observe and question, as appropriate, how the contractor provides notice to employees of the location and hours of availability of VEVRAA and Section 503 AAPs.97 A CO must take notes during the inspection to record his or her observations, or record the observations immediately following the inspection. The CO must type handwritten notes, using MS Word, before placing them in the case file. During the inspection or during off-site analysis, the CO may verify electronic postings. The CO must document his or her observations and findings in the SCER.
In appropriate circumstances, COs may also take photographs. However, if a contractor objects to the CO taking photographs, the CO must stop taking photographs and notify the district office of the contractor’s concern.
96. FCCM 2L – Equal Opportunity Clauses and Other Requirements.
97. 41 CFR 300.41 and 41 CFR 741.41.