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Federal Contractors

Frequently Asked Questions


Many generally applicable employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act, apply to federal contractors. In addition, there are a number of federal laws that apply only to federal contractors. Not all of these laws, which are described below, cover all contractors. See the elaws FirstStep Advisor for assistance in determining which laws apply to a specific business.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for administering the laws requiring employers doing business with the federal government to comply with the nondiscrimination and affirmative action requirements set forth under Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503, and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). These laws prohibit discrimination and require affirmative action by federal contractors with regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and status as a qualified individual with a disability or a protected veteran. All federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts exceeding specific thresholds also must file a VETS-100 report with the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.

The Wage and Hour Division administers laws and regulations requiring minimum wages and fringe benefits to be paid to workers performing construction work on federally-funded contracts or providing services to the federal government. These laws are: the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (for construction); the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act; the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (for services); and the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (for manufacturing).

The Wage and Hour Division also enforces the Copeland "Anti-Kickback" Act which precludes covered contractors and subcontractors engaged in building construction or repair from inducing an employee to give up any part of the compensation to which he or she is entitled under his or her contract of employment.


Employment Law Guide (See Table of Contents, Sections F and G) - Provides information to help employers comply with the laws and regulations administered by the Department of Labor, including the laws governing wages and fringe benefits, working conditions and equal opportunity under federal contracts.

Equal Employment Laws:

  • Federal Contract Compliance Manual – Provides information on the provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Small Business Guide - Provides small businesses that have federal contracts or subcontracts an introduction to the basic equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements of Executive Order 11246.
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sample AAP (PDF) – Provides guidance to federal contractors that employ fewer than 150 employees on preparing an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP).
  • Small Contractor AAP Job Group Availability Determinations – Provides information on establishing job groups, and comparing employment of minorities and women within those job groups to the availability of minorities and women who are "available" for employment.
  • Federal Contractor Program Information Page - Provides information on the Veterans' Employment and Training Services' Federal Contractor Program, the Federal Contractor Job Listing Program, and the VETS-100 reporting requirements.
  • FAQs about the VEVRAA Federal Contractor Program - Provides information on affirmative action requirements to hire and promote special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, recently separated veterans, and any other veterans who served on active duty during a war.
  • Construction Contractors TA Guide – This Technical Assistance Guide helps federal and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors comply with the federal equal employment opportunity laws and regulations.
  • Filing a Complaint - Individuals may file a complaint with OFCCP if they believe they have been discriminated against by federal contractors or subcontractors.

Davis-Bacon and Other Wage Laws:


Equal Employment Laws:

Davis-Bacon and Other Wage Laws:




Equal Employment Laws:

  • EEO-1 Report – Provides information on the EEO-1 Report which is required of employers, including federal contractors. Information on the EEO-1 Report can be obtained from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Web site; by e-mailing EEOC at; or by calling 1-866-286-6440 (toll free). See also 41 CFR Part 60-1.7.

  • Executive Order 11246 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503 - Require federal contractors to maintain personnel or employment records for a period of two years from the date of the making of the personnel record or the personnel action, whichever occurs later.

  • VETS-100 – Requires federal contractors and subcontractors to complete an annual report showing the numbers of qualified special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected veterans hired or employed during the reporting period.

Davis-Bacon Act and Other Wage Laws:


Equal Employment Laws:

  • Executive Order 11246 - Prohibits covered federal contractors and subcontractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and it requires them to take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their hiring and employment practices. See 41 CFR Parts 60-1 to 60-3.

  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act - Requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that exceed $10,000, and contracts or subcontracts for indefinite quantities to take affirmative steps to hire, retain, and promote qualified individuals with disabilities. See 41 CFR Part 60-741 and 41 CFR Part 60-742.

  • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended - Requires covered federal government contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment specified categories of veterans protected by the Act, and prohibits discrimination against such veterans. See 41 CFR Chapter 60-250.

Davis-Bacon Act and Other Wage Laws:


Equal Employment Laws:

See also - Compliance Assistance By Topic - Equal Employment Opportunity

Davis-Bacon Act and Other Wage Laws:

See also Compliance Assistance By Topic - Wages and   Hours Worked - Wages under Federal Contracts.

  • Wage Survey Form - Some contractors may be asked to submit wage data as part of the Wage Determination Survey. The WD-10 Form is an optional form to ensure consistency in submission of wage data.

Other Resources:


*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.