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OFCCP to Recognize Innovative Contractors and Establish Peer Mentoring Program

The third of the three Directives OFCCP issued last Friday, Directive 2018-06 “Contractor Recognition Program” announces a program by which OFCCP will recognize contractors with “high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives.” Recognition is one of the four themes Acting Director Leen has spoken about recently and such programs are not a new concept in the Agency – some of you may recall OFCCP’s previous EVE Award program.   The Agency’s new Directive, however, describes a program having much more potential than a simple recognition program.

While the Directive is short on specific details for the program, it shows OFCCP is looking for creative and more effective ways to encourage voluntary compliance and further the core principles of affirmative action.  In furtherance of the Agency’s efforts to efficiently and effectively “expand its compliance reach,” the heart of the Directive is the idea that contractors can, and should, learn from one another regarding effective AAP efforts.  The program would advance OFCCP’s compliance assistance efforts by identifying contractors with “innovative programs” driving “demonstrable results” that “could be taught or incorporated into contractor peer mentoring programs.”

OFCCP believes contractors would be supportive of a compliance assistance model that includes a peer-to-peer mentoring type component because OFCCP found contractor believe "other businesses best understand their compliance barriers and challenges."

The program will not simply recognize compliant contractors “but would be for contractors that are innovative thought leaders among their peers for achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces.”  OFCCP would take the first step of identifying and approving “implementable best or model contractor practices,” and presumably establish a foundation and framework for a mentoring program through which contractors could expand and build upon the successes of their peers.

Collaboration is also central to this proposed program in another aspect.  Rather than working alone, OFCCP promises to work directly with other federal entities, such as “the Women’s Bureau, the Office of Disability Employment Policy, and other Department of Labor components as appropriate.”

OFCCP has not provided a timeline for the development of this program so stayed tuned to this page for further updates as OFCCP makes them available.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020


About this Author

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

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...

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, intellectual property and employment litigation.

Mr. Chrisbens joined Jackson Lewis after many subsequent years as the manager of affirmative action planning and OFCCP compliance in both the law firm and employer association settings. He now counsels, represents, and provides training to federal contractors in all facets of affirmative action planning and OFCCP compliance, including all phases of OFCCP compliance audits. Mr. Chrisbens has successfully and efficiently guided many federal contractors through OFCCP audits, including on-site investigations, compensation scrutiny and applicant tracking analyses. Mr. Chrisbens also provides customized on-site affirmative action and investigations training, and frequently accepts speaking engagements on both topics.