Avid readers have seen that OFCCP has been busy this summer. In August alone, the Agency attended the 2019 ILG National Conference in Milwaukee, issued FAQs on student workers, proposed a new rule regarding religious exemptions, introduced a new Ombudsperson, opened a contractor assistance portal and issued multiple technical assistance guides. But, OFCCP is not content merely coasting through the end of its fiscal year (on September 30).
Instead, OFCCP continues to issue additional guidance to contractors. In a cleverly-titled “Back to School Update”, OFCCP unveiled new FAQs addressing preparation of AAPs that cover a campus environment. The Agency noted common employers with campus environments include educational institutions, hospitals, and information technology companies, among others. When an employer has multiple buildings or “work locations” in close proximity, there has often been an unresolved question – is it one establishment or many?
The Agency’s official position has been “[i]n appropriate circumstances, OFCCP may consider as an establishment as a single building or several facilities located at two or more sites when the facilities are in the same labor market or recruiting area.” But the recent FAQ’s provide additional guidance.
Specifically, OFCCP has clarified that employers may combine multiple buildings into a single establishment AAP, if the operations across those buildings are interconnected.
Similarly, contractors may conclude various buildings within a campus environment are operationally distinct and should be included in separate AAPs. The FAQs provide a guideline of factors to assist contractors in assessing their situation.
This is not to be confused with the Agency’s Functional Affirmative Action Plan (FAAP) program which offers an alternative to establishment based affirmative action plan development.
These FAQs are new, so it may take some time to see them in action, but contractors with campus environments may want to evaluate if this new guidance provides a good affirmative action plan alternative for their organization.
Let us know if we can be of any assistance digesting how this guidance could be used in your AAP program.