Federal contractors and subcontractors long-awaiting finalized regulations of the OFCCP’s Unified Agenda can set April 2013 on their calendars. The OFCCP’s Unified Agenda will outline aggressive new rules and regulations in the coming year, increasing the enforcement of equal employment opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities with respect to hiring, worker retention, and data collection. The proposed rulemaking would amend the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions; consequently upping affirmative action requirements.
Among the new requirements imposed by the proposed regulations, the new rule would increase data collection and recordkeeping requirements, as well as establish new analysis and retention criteria. The rule will also incorporate changes to the nondiscrimination provisions as it relates to hiring of individuals with disabilities, requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to establish 7% employment for individuals with disabilities across the entire workforce, along with making adjustments to reasonable accommodation procedures, data collection requirements, and compliance procedures.
Along with the above revisions, the OFCCP also has also proposed:
- A compensation data collection tool to collect and sort compensation data by race, gender and national origin, further enforcing equal pay laws, scheduled for release in June;
- New sex discrimination regulations, which set forth contractors’ obligations not to discriminate on the basis of sex (sex discrimination guidelines have not been updated since 1978), scheduled for release August 2013; and
- Updated regulations impacting the obligations of construction contractors, scheduled for an October release date.
While all of the specifics of the above proposed regulations will not be confirmed until April, contractors will need to pay close attention on how these new rules will impact their existing OFCCP compliance initiatives, and should anticipate increased enforcement activities in all aspects of affirmative action.
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