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On Dec. 11, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued Directive 2021-02 to provide clear and specific guidelines to OFCCP staff and/or federal contractors on enforcement and compliance policy or procedures.

Directive 2021-02 was issued as part of OFCCP’s efforts of adopting the four CERT principles, each with separate purposes to assist OFCCP staff and federal contractors:

  • Certainty - to reaffirm OFCCP’s commitment to a number of certainty initiatives and principles and establish a process to facilitate the continued provision of clarity and certainty in OFCCP policies and practices.
  • Efficiency – to announce operational initiatives to keep the number of cases that are aged, as defined in the directive, below 15% of OFCCP’s total caseload.
  • Recognition - to recognize contractors with high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives. These programs should have a record of accomplishment related to nondiscrimination and providing applicants and employees with equal employment opportunity under the laws enforced by the OFCCP.
  • Transparency – to ensure transparency in all stages of OFCCP compliance activities to help contractors comply with their obligations and know what to expect during a compliance evaluation, and to protect workers from discrimination through the consistent enforcement of OFCCP legal authorities.

In addition to the CERT principles, OFCCP has taken several steps to improve transparency, cooperation, and communication with federal contractors. This includes implementing a 45-day scheduling delay so contractors have more time to prepare for an audit and participate in one or more OFCCP compliance assistance events across the country and publishing OFCCP’s supply and service scheduling methodology on the agency’s public website. It also includes issuing Directive 2018–01, which requires the use of pre-determination notices so contractors can respond to potential violation findings before a Notice of Violation is issued.

More information on Directive 2021-02 and other compliance directives can be found on the OFCCP website.