As most federal contractors are likely aware, this year marked the first year when covered entities were required to certify compliance with their annual affirmative action plan requirement using the new Contractor Portal of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Federal contractors (and subcontractors) that are subject to such requirements now must certify compliance as it relates to covered establishments by June 30 of each year, beginning this year. Over the summer, the OFCCP clarified several important points related to such compliance.
First, the agency explained that while the Contractor Portal remains “open,” the June 30, 2022 deadline still remains and contractors that have not yet registered and certified compliance must do so as soon as possible. Second, the OFCCP clarified that any contractor that requested assistance with registration or certification before June 30, and that is still awaiting such assistance, is deemed to have met the compliance deadline. Third, and most important for contractors, is that: 1) contractors that have not certified (including those that haven’t used the Contractor Portal to do so) are more likely to appear on the OFCCPs scheduling list (of upcoming audits) than those that have certified their compliance, and 2) contractors that have not certified compliance by September 1, 2022, will be included on a list provided to federal agency contracting officers, with the stated purpose being that the agencies then will notify the contractors of their obligations. Therefore, contractors that have not complied with the affirmative action requirements or have complied but not certified such compliance using the OFCCP’s Contractor Portal, should do so as soon as possible. Contractors that have questions about registration, certification, coverage under the law, and similar issues may wish to contact competent counsel.