Functional affirmative action plans (FAAPs) are not new. While the regulations require AAPs be prepared on an establishment-basis, OFCCP has permitted contractors to structure their AAPs by “function” or “business unit” – with Agency approval.
Implicitly, the Agency’s 2013 Directive on the subject recognized that business structures had evolved since the 1960s. Establishment-centered chains of command were fading, and geographically diverse teams were rising. Since then, this workforce evolution has only gained steam, including a substantive revision in 2016.
Dating back to town hall sessions in early 2018, the current OFCCP administration under Craig Leen has been doing some deep thinking on how to “best” incentivize contractors to adopt AAP structures, that may better reflect how recruiting is done in certain organizations, and empower them to better meet the goals of Executive Order 11246. If contractors are not organized by establishment, why should their AAPs be so rigid?
In answer to that question, OFCCP has issued an updated FAAP Directive. OFCCP summarized the highlights of the update as follows:
- OFCCP will no longer consider compliance history when reviewing a request for a new FAAP agreement or termination.
- The agreement term is extended to five years, up from three years.
- There will be a minimum of 36 months between compliance evaluations for a single functional unit. This is 12 months longer than an establishment review.
- Complete FAAP applications will be determined within 60 days. Historically, there was no deadline.
- OFCCP no longer requires that FAAP contractors undergo at least one compliance evaluation during the term of their FAAP agreement.
Procedurally, these changes reduce the burden of a FAAP Agreement by extending its term and committing to act on all applications within 60 days. And, substantively, these changes may seem advantageous —audits are no longer required, and should they occur each plan would be immune from a second audit for a year longer than an employer who prepares establishment plans.
There are a multitude of issues to considering before changing to a FAAP program. If you are assessing whether a FAAP is right for your organization, please reach out—we’re happy discuss.