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National Interest Exemptions

Update to OFCCP National Interest Exemptions for FEMA Declared Disasters

On April 19, 2019, OFCCP posted an updated template memo to contracting agencies (hereinafter "memo") and template Frequently Asked Questions (hereinafter "FAQs") for the public. The memo and FAQs expanded the scope of the national interest exemption (hereinafter "NIE") that would be granted to qualifying contractors engaged in relief efforts for FEMA-declared disasters (hereinafter "contractors") from April 19, 2019 going forward. While the previous disaster-related NIEs exempted supply and service contractors from their written affirmative action obligations, the April 19, 2019 update announced that it will also exempt construction contractors from their affirmative action obligations (commonly referred to as the "16 Steps"), and construction and supply and service contractors from other obligations, including the preparation and maintenance of affirmative action programs for supply and service contractors posting requirements, solicitation/advertisement requirements, and the mandatory job listing requirement under VEVRAA. This expanded exemption will assist in removing administrative burdens so potential contractors can participate in emergency, disaster-recovery efforts on an expedited basis, which serves the national interest. However, contractors that qualify for disaster-related NIEs must continue to abide by the non-discrimination and non-retaliation obligations under OFCCP’s laws. OFCCP will continue to accept and investigate complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation against these contractors, and these contractors must allow OFCCP access to its premises and records, as necessary, to investigate complaints, determine compliance with the law. For further guidance, please refer to the April 19, 2019 template memo and FAQs below. If you have further questions, please contact us at Kelley Smith, Chief of Staff at (202) 693-0101.

Nebraska Flooding National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of the March 9 flooding in Nebraska, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from March 22, 2019 to June 22, 2019, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide flooding relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Alaska Earthquake National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of the November 30 earthquake in Alaska, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from December 3, 2018 to March 3, 2019, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide earthquake relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

California Wildfire National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of the California wildfires, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from November 19, 2018 to February 19, 2019, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide California wildfire relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam’ Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Michael National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Michael, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from October 11, 2018 to January 11, 2019, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane Michael relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Florence National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Florence, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 17, 2018 to December 17, 2018, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane Florence relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Harvey National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane‐Harvey relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. This National Interest Exemption was initially issued August 31, 2017 but was revised September 7, 2017 to clarify that the National Interest Exemption also applies to construction contracts.

Hurricane Irma National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 8, 2017 to December 8, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane‐Irma relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Hurricane Maria National Interest Exemption

(This exemption is expired and not extended.)

Due to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from September 21, 2017 to December 21, 2017, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide Hurricane‐Maria relief efforts will be exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.