April 11, 2021

Volume XI, Number 101

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April 09, 2021

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April 08, 2021

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OFCCP Extends Comment Deadline for Annual AAP Certification Proposal

OFCCP has published a notice in the Federal Register extending the public comment period on its proposal to require federal contractors to submit an annual certification of their AAP compliance.  The new comment deadline is January 28, 2021.  While this notice does not state the reason for the extension, it appears the Agency received only 15 comments by the November 13, 2020 deadline.

As reflected in OFCCP’s original notice, it seeks regulatory authority to:

  • Require federal contractors to annually certify they have prepared AAPs via an online interface; and,

  • Institute “a secure method” to electronically submit AAPs when contractors are scheduled for an audit.

In a supporting document, OFCCP says it will use an online platform – the Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface (AAP-VI) – to execute a GAO recommendation “to collect and monitor Affirmative Action Programs (AAP) from covered federal contractors and subcontractors on a regular basis.”  This recommendation stems in part from GAO’s observation that OFCCP audits only about 2% of federal contractor locations each year.

OFCCP designed AAP-VI to increase contractor compliance by creating an annual certification process and to optimize the compliance review process by creating a tool for scheduled contractors to upload their AAPs electronically for OFCCP’s review.

AAP-VI will have five user interfaces for federal contractors, including an AAP Upload Interface and an Annual Certification interface.  Federal contractors would receive an OFCCP email with AAP-VI user registration instructions, which would also be posted on OFCCP’s website.

Once the process is effective, federal contractors would have 90 days to complete the certification process.   “After the initial certification year, OFCCP will set a date by which all existing contractors must renew their annual certification.”  New contractors would  have 90 days from development of their AAPs to make the certification.

The proposed certification process would require each federal contractor to annually select one of the following options in the AAP-VI interface:

  1. Entity has developed and maintained affirmative action programs at each establishment, as applicable, or for each functional or business unit. See 41 CFR Chapter 60.

  2. Entity has been party to a qualifying federal contract or subcontract for 120 days or more and has not developed and maintained affirmative action programs at each establishment, as applicable. See 41 CFR Chapter 60.

  3. Entity became a covered federal contractor or subcontractor within the past 120 days and therefore has not yet developed applicable affirmative action programs.  See 41 CFR Chapter 60.

Additionally, it is proposed that when scheduled for an audit, contractors would use AAP-VI to upload the applicable AAP(s) for the “scheduled establishment(s), functional business unit, or corporate headquarters.”

By January 28, 2021, OFCCP is seeking comments on a number of topics, including:

  • The frequency of the certification (the proposal is for annual certification, but some comments suggest every other year);

  • The type of information and level of detail to be required in the certification;

  • Whether certification would be practically useful to OFCCP in service of its mission, as compared to the burden on contractors; and,

  • Whether the estimated burden on contractors (36 minutes to certify) is accurate.

Contractors can submit their input to OFCCP via the federal e-Rulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/ .

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Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 5
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About this Author

Laura Mitchell, Jackson Lewis, Management Representation lawyer, Contractual Drafting Attorney
Principal

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management exclusively in all areas of employment law, focusing on affirmative action and government contractor compliance.

Ms. Mitchell is a Principal in the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group, representing government and non-government contractors in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) matters, preparing for and defending OFCCP audits, and counseling employers on issues stemming...

303-225-2382
F. Christopher Chrisbens, Jackson Lewis, litigation attorney, employment law, intellectual property legal counsel, OFCCP compliance lawyer
Of Counsel

F. Christopher Chrisbens is Of Counsel in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Over his years as a litigation attorney, manager, trainer and workplace investigator, Mr. Chrisbens has developed a diverse array of employment law skills serving employers in a variety of legal and corporate settings.

Mr. Chrisbens began his career as a litigator and appellate practitioner in Los Angeles, California, and later returned to Boulder, Colorado where he was partner in a Boulder firm practicing in the areas of commercial...

303-225-2381
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