In a Memorandum issued yesterday, OFCCP has granted a three-month, national interest exemption and waiver from AAP obligations for new federal contracts “entered into specifically to provide Coronavirus relief.”

In summary, the “exemption and waiver extends to all affirmative action obligations of supply and service and construction contracts, and other obligations as specified in” FAR clauses 52.222-26 (EEO-Executive Order 11246); 52.222.35 (veterans); and, 52.222-36 (individuals with disabilities).

The exemption and waiver, although limited in time (expires after June 17), is broad and suspends the following obligations under EO 1124, Section 503 and VEVRAA:

  • Affirmative action efforts, but not the prohibition against discrimination;
  • Written AAPs;
  • EEO Policy Statement and other posting requirements;
  • The requirement to include the EEO Tagline in job postings;
  • Listing of job openings with state workforce agencies;
  • Union notices regarding the EEO Policy Statement;
  • EEO-1 filing requirements (unless the contractor also has 100 or more employees); and,
  • On-site audit access, but not access to contractor premises for complaint investigations.

OFCCP has also issued helpful FAQs, which explain:

Only new supply & service and construction contracts solely for the specific purpose of providing Coronavirus relief are covered by the exemption.

The coronavirus National Interest Exemption only applies to new supply & service and construction contracts specifically for coronavirus relief efforts. Contractors that hold contracts unrelated to coronavirus relief, and thus were already required to comply with the affirmative action requirements of laws enforced by OFCCP, must continue to do so.

As always, thank you for tuning into our blog and we wish everyone good health through this unprecedented time.  Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

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Photo of Laura A. Mitchell Laura A. Mitchell

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is a member of the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group as well as the firm’s Pay Equity Resource Group. She is also on the…

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is a member of the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group as well as the firm’s Pay Equity Resource Group. She is also on the leadership team for the firm’s Government Contractor Industry Group.

Her practice is focused on representing government and non-government contractors in OFCCP matters, preparing for and defending OFCCP audits, and counseling employers on issues stemming from OFCCP regulations. Ms. Mitchell personally oversees the development of hundreds of AAPs each year and is intimately involved in the defense of numerous OFCCP audits. She also spends significant time counseling companies in connection with conducting pay equity analyses as well as government contractor employment obligations.

Ms. Mitchell is the editor and a principal contributor of The Affirmative Action Law Advisor blog and frequently presents on pay equity, affirmative action compliance, OFCCP enforcement trends, and government contractor obligations.

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