With March 24th come and gone many employers are still working on implementing the required elements of OFCCP’s new veteran and disability regulations and making preparations for rolling-out Subpart C compliance measures.
As of March 24th, contractors who are party to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
“shall notify union officials and/or employee representatives to inform them of the contractor’s policy, and request their cooperation.”
What sort of cooperation are contractors to seek from unions? Certainly, if the CBA calls for the union to refer applicants, we want the union to provide equal opportunity and engage in its own efforts to recruit qualified veterans and the disabled. Is there more?
In addition to notifying Unions, contractors are also now obligated to provide notice of their EEO/AA policy and affirmative action efforts to vendors. This obligation was previously optional under the old regulations but is required in the revised rules under Subpart C. This obligation is separate and apart from the obligation to include the required citation references and obligatory language in purchase orders and contracts. Thus, in addition to the contract clause requirements, contractors must now
“send written notification of company policy related to affirmative action efforts to all subcontractors, including subcontracting vendors and suppliers, requesting appropriate action on their part.”
But what does requesting appropriate action entail? What action should we request our vendors take? Does appropriate action mean requesting subcontractors and vendors voluntarily engage in efforts to recruit and hire qualified veterans and the disabled? OFCCP has not provided guidance on this point . . .
Given we must provide the required notice and request action and cooperation, but have little guidance from OFCCP, what do we request specifically? It seems the best practice at this point is to spell out our EEO/AA policy and simply say that the company “requests [Union]’s cooperation in advancing these principles” and requests vendors “take appropriate action to support these principles.”