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Student Workers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Who is considered a student worker for purposes of this guidance?
  2. Will OFCCP continue to accept student worker data if the educational institution chooses to provide it in the course of a compliance evaluation?
  3. Why is OFCCP using its enforcement discretion to not consider, or cite violations based on, student worker employment data during compliance evaluations?
  4. Can a contractor be cited for a violation for excluding student workers from the data it provides to OFCCP during a compliance evaluation?
  5. Will OFCCP accept a complaint filed by a student worker?

1. Who is considered a student worker for purposes of this guidance?

Generally, a student worker is a student, undergraduate or graduate, engaged in research, teaching, work-study, or another related or comparable position at an educational institution.  The individual’s primary relationship with the institution is educational, and the student’s working relationship has been obtained as a result of or in conjunction with his or her studies.

 


 

2. Will OFCCP continue to accept student worker data if the educational institution chooses to provide it in the course of a compliance evaluation?

Yes.  However, if the contractor’s submission includes student workers, OFCCP will not consider such data in the determination of violations in the course of the compliance evaluation.

 


 

3. Why is OFCCP using its enforcement discretion to not consider, or cite violations based on, student worker employment data during compliance evaluations?

Sorting through data to determine whether individual student workers meet the legal test for employee and thus should be included in affirmative action programs (AAPs) is not only burdensome for contractors but may prolong the time it takes OFCCP to complete compliance evaluations, and may take focus away from examining the personnel practices and outcomes of non-student workers of these contractors.  Additionally, data on student workers is typically not robust enough for analyses due to quick turnover and limited application pools.  OFCCP has an interest in focusing its time, attention, and resources on individuals whose primary relationship with the educational institution is work-related.  To learn more about what constitutes an employee, please see our FAQs here.

 


 

4. Can a contractor be cited for a violation for excluding student workers from the data it provides to OFCCP during a compliance evaluation?

No.  OFCCP will not cite contractors for excluding student workers from AAPs or personnel activity data submitted to OFCCP during a compliance review.

 


 

5. Will OFCCP accept a complaint filed by a student worker?

Yes.  OFCCP will continue to accept complaints alleging employment discrimination by and on behalf of student workers.  For any such complaints, OFCCP’s regional and field office staff will work with the Office of the Solicitor, as appropriate, to determine whether such students are employees under, and thus protected by, OFCCP’s laws.