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California Wildfire National Interest Exemption
Frequently Asked Questions

 

National Interest Exemption for New Contracts Specifically to Provide California wildfire relief

  1. Which contracts are covered by the National Interest Exemption?
  2. How do I know if my Federal contract is exempt?
  3. What constitutes a contract specifically to provide California wildfire relief?
  4. My company received a federal contract during the period of November 19, 2018 – February 19, 2019. This contract is for providing materials related to California wildlife relief in the area impacted by the fires, as well as materials to other areas not impacted by the fires. Is this contract covered by the California wildfire National Interest Exemption?
  5. My company has a new contract specifically to provide California wildfire relief and has other covered federal contracts unrelated to wildfire relief. Do I need to continue to comply with the affirmative action provisions of OFCCP’s laws, including Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act?
  6. What specific obligations are waived by the November 19, 2018, National Interest Exemption?
  7. Does the November 19, 2018, National Interest Exemption apply to subcontractors?
  8. Must a prime contractor include the NIE language in a subcontract specifically for California wildfire relief for the NIE to apply to the subcontract?
  9. I have a new contract for California wildfire relief that is subject to the NIE. What are my obligations?
  10. I have a new contract for California wildfire relief. Who should I contact with questions about my obligations?
  11. My company wants to assist with the wildfire relief efforts in the areas declared a major disaster due to the California wildfires. How can I contract with the Federal government to participate in the California wildfire emergency response?

 

Status of Open Compliance Evaluations in the Affected Area

  1. What is the geographic area impacted by the California wildfires?
  2. How does OFCCP plan to handle pending compliance evaluations in areas impacted by the California wildfires?

 

Complaints of Discrimination

  1. Will OFCCP continue to accept complaints of discrimination against contractors operating in the areas affected by the California wildfires?
  2. I believe that I was discriminated against by a federal contractor providing California wildfire relief. What can I do?

 

 


 

National Interest Exemption for New Contracts Specifically to Provide California Wildfire Relief

 

1. Which contracts are covered by the National Interest Exemption?

The National Interest Exemption (NIE) Memorandum issued to Federal contracting agencies on November 19, 2018, applies to new supply & service and construction contracts entered into between November 19, 2018 – February 19, 2019, specifically to provide California wildfire relief. This NIE may be extended should special circumstances in the national interest so require.

 


 

2. How do I know if my Federal contract is exempt?

The Department of Labor, OFCCP, issued the NIE memorandum to all Federal contracting agencies notifying them of the NIE and providing language to include in new supply & service and construction contracts entered into specifically to provide California wildfire relief. If your Federal contract is exempt, it will contain the clauses in the NIE memorandum.

 


 

3. What constitutes a contract specifically to provide California wildfire relief?

Federal contracting officers know the terms and conditions of the contracts they execute. Therefore, they are in the best position to determine what constitutes a supply & service or construction contract specifically to provide California wildfire relief and whether it is appropriate to include the NIE language in the contract.

 


 

4. My company received a federal contract during the period of November 19, 2018 – February 19, 2019. This contract is for providing materials related to California wildfire relief in the area impacted by the fires, as well as materials to other areas not impacted by the fires. Is this contract covered by the California wildfire National Interest Exemption?

No. Only new supply & service and construction contracts solely for the specific purpose of providing California wildfire relief are covered by the exemption.

 


 

5. My company has a new contract specifically to provide California wildfire relief and has other covered federal contracts unrelated to California wildfire relief. Do I need to continue to comply with the affirmative action provisions of OFCCP’s laws, including Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act?

Yes. The California Wildfire National Interest Exemption only applies to new supply & service and construction contracts specifically for California wildfire relief. Contractors that hold contracts unrelated to California wildfire relief, and thus were already required to comply with the affirmative action requirements of laws enforced by OFCCP, must continue to do so.

 


 

6. What specific obligations are waived by the November 19, 2018, National Interest Exemption?

The contractors covered by the Exemption do not have to prepare written affirmative action programs as required by 41 C.F.R 60-1.40;60-2, Subpart B; 60-300, Subpart C and 60-741, Subpart C.

 


 

7. Does the November 19, 2018, National Interest Exemption apply to subcontractors?

Yes, as long as the subcontractor is providing goods or services as part of a prime contract specifically for California wildfire relief that explicitly contains the national interest exemption provision set out in the November 19, 2018, NIE memorandum.

 


 

8. Must a prime contractor include the NIE language in a subcontract specifically for California wildfire relief for the NIE to apply to the subcontract?

No, as long as the prime contract specifically for California wildfire relief explicitly contains the national interest exemption provision set out in the November 19, 2018, NIE memorandum, then the NIE also applies to any subcontractor providing goods or services as part of the prime contract. Prime contractors, however, may choose to also insert NIE language into the subcontracts.

 


 

9. I have a new contract for California wildfire relief that is subject to the NIE. What are my obligations?

New supply & service and construction contracts falling under the NIE will continue to be subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of EO 11246, VEVRAA and Section 503 and to the following FAR requirements:

  • Posting of the "Equal Opportunity is the Law" notice under all three laws;
  • Record keeping and record retention requirements under all three laws; and
  • Employment listings with the appropriate employment service delivery system as required under VEVRAA.

 


 

10. I have a new contract for California wildfire relief. Who should I contact with questions about my obligations?

OFCCP’s website at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp contains contractor resources, frequently asked questions about new contractor obligations and information about EO 11246, VEVRAA and Section 503. You may also call OFCCP’s toll–free Help Desk at 1–800–397–6251 or contact the OFCCP District Office nearest you for assistance.

 


 

11. My company wants to assist with the wildfire relief efforts in the areas declared a major disaster due to California wildfires. How can I contract with the Federal government to participate in the California wildfires emergency response?

OFCCP regulates Federal contractor compliance with equal employment opportunity laws and does not award or manage federal government contracts. Businesses interested in getting Federal contracts, including those for disaster recovery efforts, can visit the Federal government’s FedBizOpps.Gov web site at www.fbo.gov or www.fedbizops.info/.

 


 

Status of Open Compliance Evaluations in the Affected Area

 

1. What is the geographic area impacted by California wildfires?

Any area that has been designated a Designated Area by FEMA to receive both individual and public assistance (FEMA categories A and B). For a list of Designated Areas please visit FEMA’s Disaster Declarations page.

 


 

2. How does OFCCP plan to handle pending compliance evaluations in areas impacted by California wildfires?

OFCCP will contact contractors with open compliance evaluations in the impacted areas regarding the status of their evaluation and next steps.

 


 

Complaints of Discrimination

 

1. Will OFCCP continue to accept complaints of discrimination against contractors operating in the areas affected by California wildfires?

Yes. OFCCP will continue to investigate complaints of discrimination. The agency will take into consideration all practical circumstances and exercise reasonable flexibility in investigating complaints.

 


 

2. I believe that I was discriminated against by a federal contractor providing California wildfire relief. What can I do?

For information on how to file a complaint with OFCCP, please go to: https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/pdf/pdfstart.htm