As we are preparing for a change in leadership at OFCCP, the Agency has published its first Section 503 Focused Reviews Annual Report and issued Section 503 Certificates of Merit. As many are aware, OFCCP Director Craig Leen is passionate about fighting for and protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and, as such, has developed a Section 503 compliance and recognition program that no doubt, will be one of his legacies with OFCCP. We thank Director Leen for his service as OFCCP’s Director and wish him well in his future endeavors.
The Certificates of Merit announced to day go to ten federal contractors which met the established criteria: (1) meeting the 7% disability goal in at least 50% of all job groups; and, (2) receiving a Section 503 audit closure letter with no violations. Congratulations go to:
- Ventech Solutions, Inc.
- Professional Management Enterprises
- Quantitech, Inc.
- Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana
- Systems Application & Technologies
- Didlake Incorporated Consolidated
- Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
- Centers for Habilitation
- Paul Hastings, LLP
- Lighthouse for Blind – New Orleans
These certificates are in addition to the Agency’s highest disability achievement award – the Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award – which the Agency awarded earlier to CVS Health and PepsiCo.
Award of the Certificates of Merit comes on the heels of OFCCP’s first Section 503 Focused Reviews Annual Report, which is a summary of not only audit results but also a summary of the Section 503 audit process, compliance assistance resources and best practices. Notably, although OFCCP has yet to complete the other 50% of these audits from the March 2019 audit list, as of the end of fiscal year 2020, “OFCCP has not found any discrimination or reasonable accommodation violations in the focused reviews.” OFCCP has entered into conciliation agreements with contractors to remedy other violations, the top five of which are:
- Failure to conduct appropriate outreach and positive recruitment of individuals with disabilities that were reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified individuals with disabilities;
- Failure to invite applicant and employees to self-identify as an individual with a disability;
- Failure to document the computations or comparisons pertaining to applicants and hires, as described in 41 CFR 60-741.44(k) and maintain this data for three (3) years;
- Failure to design and implement an acceptable audit and reporting system which measured the effectiveness of its affirmative action program; and
- Failure to develop and submit acceptable Section 503 AAPs and support data.
As an important note, the Annual Report provides that:
“OFCCP plans to schedule the remaining contractors on the FY 2019 list before scheduling the 250 Section 503 Focused Reviews on the FY 2020 supplement.”
As the new administration and leadership of OFCCP transitions into place we will make sure to continue to bring you update information and insights.