The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently announced two new directives aimed at ensuring equal employment opportunity and protecting Americans’ religious freedom. These directives provide guidance to OFCCP staff and federal contractors regarding enforcement and compliance policy and procedures.
The first of the two is the equal employment opportunity directive, which calls for more comprehensive reviews of contractor compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws. Through these directives, the OFCCP announced that it is implementing a comprehensive compliance initiative, seeking to ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination regulations in all of its protected groups.
As part of this initiative, OFCCP will also add focused reviews to its compliance activities, with broad onsite reviews focused on each of the three authorities OFCCP enforces: Executive Order 11246, as amended; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended.
The second directive is focused on religious freedom and protects the rights of religion-exercising organizations. This directive instructs OFCCP staff to take into account recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and White House Executive Orders that protect religious freedom. The Supreme Court issued rulings in 2014, 2017, and 2018 that safeguard the broad liberties and anti-discrimination protections that must be afforded religion-exercising organizations and individuals under the U.S. Constitution and federal law.
The announcement may be found at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ofccp/ofccp20180810