If your company does business with the Federal government, you’re probably intimately familiar with the laws and regulations administered and enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that is part of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
OFCCP’s responsibility and mission is to ensure, for the benefit of employees and job seekers, that Federal contractors comply with the laws and regulations requiring them to apply affirmative action and equal employment opportunity (nondiscrimination).
What most employers we work with forget, is that OFCCP regulations also apply to any 3rd party recruiters they may be working with.
When new rules are issued and OFCCP requirements change, it is highly important for employers to take notice and make any necessary changes to remain compliant. It is no secret that the OFCCP is becoming increasingly active in conducting random audits of federal contractors.
Because employers are also responsible for the actions and omissions of their subcontractors under OFCCP regulations, it’s imperative that they ensure that suppliers who assist them in the hiring process remain in compliance. Part of OFCCP compliance is retaining records to prove your compliance. The risk of not retaining records is the inevitable audit – which on most accounts is not pleasant.
New OFCCP Regulations for 2014
This year, new OFCCP changes became effective on March 24, 2014. Significant changes were made in obligations relating to the recruitment and hire of protected veterans. The full text of the new OFCCP regulations for 2014 can be found here. If you still negotiate and maintain direct contractual agreements with your 3rd party recruiters who perform searches on your behalf, make sure you update all those contracts based on the new OFCCP regulations.
As more and more employers are managing their recruitment vendors (both temporary staffing and permanent placement) through vendor management systems (VMS), it’s increasingly simpler and easier to maintain compliance by making sure their VMS passes along the updated requirements to all vendors.
Employers who do not ensure the new OFCCP regulations are passed along to the 3rd party recruiters they may be working with expose themselves to risk if a vet is hired on their behalf.
While it’s unclear at the early days of any new law or regulation how exactly it will be enforced, there has been a significant increase in OFCCP audits – so always pay attention to OFCCP changes and don’t forget to ensure compliance of your 3rd party recruiters.