The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP from here on out) is a federal government organization that is responsible for ensuring that companies that work with the government and have contracts above $10,000 are in compliance with fair employment practices.
The OFCCP enforces three regulations: 1) Executive Order 11246 2) Section 503 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973 and 3) the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act. At a high level, these three regulations/laws ensure that companies are not discriminating based on certain statuses, and actually take it a step further and require proactive measures to try and hire people from those protected classes. The onus for compliance is on your team, which has the direct government contract.
However, it is important for us as at SeekOut to help you understand how our sourcing tool helps you be in compliance and how we fit into the regulations as a whole.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation act
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation is not relevant to SeekOut. This regulation is focused on employees or potential employees with physical or mental disabilities. SeekOut cannot identify disabilities, so we can neither hinder your hiring practices for this protected group. The other two regulations deal with race, gender, sex, and veteran status, which are protected classes that SeekOut helps you source for through our Diversity filters.
Executive Order 11246
Executive Order 11246 has five parts to it, but only section 202, subpart B of Part II are applicable to SeekOut. Bullet one of section 202 states that government contractors will not discriminate in terms of employment, pay, treatment, etc, based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or national origin. This bullet also requires that your team take affirmative action to employ people from these protected classes by creating Affirmative Action Plans.
SeekOut’s sourcing platform has no impact on whether you do or do not discriminate against your employees. We can, however, help with your Affirmative Action Plan (AAP), a requirement under this executive order. The courts have found that race is an acceptable factor for companies to include in their hiring decision, meaning that it is acceptable for your team to filter by race or sex when sourcing candidates. Allowing your team to source using filters for African Americans, Hispanics, or female candidates only helps you with your AAP.
It is important to note that our platform only allows you to take “affirmative” action by inclusion filters forR these candidates, and not allowing you to exclude, or filter OUT candidates based on race, gender or sex. The courts have found that while race is acceptable to take into account as a factor during the hiring process, race cannot be given a score or statistical advantage. This means that SeekOut will not give preference to candidates or "score" them in anyway based on their race, sex or gender.
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act
The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act has two requirements that are relevant to SeekOut: 1) Your team must create hiring benchmarks for veterans and 2) you need to collect and store that data to track the efficacy of your efforts.
The benchmark you need to create can either be the same as the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force, or if you believe that the role has unique hiring requirements, you can gather data from the Bureau Labor of Statistics to get a benchmark for your unique positions. SeekOut will not play an active part in creating the benchmarks, but our platform can help you identify veterans to help meet those hiring benchmarks.
Our tool (specifically, our People Insights section) could be used to help you identify, at a high level, if the role you are looking to fill is a unique role that should be benchmarked differently.
The second part of the regulation that is relevant to your use of SeekOut is you need to store your data relevant to veteran recruitment efforts for at least 3 years. While at the end of the day it is the responsibility of your team to store this data, we want to be a great partner for your team and will save data relevant to searches that have diversity filters toggled on.
SeekOut’s platform helps our clients with OFCCP compliance by making it easier to identify and reach out to the aforementioned protected classes. We have no responsibility to help you create an AAP and no responsibility to ensure you are using our data in an OFCCP-compliant way.
This memo is in no way legal guidance for your team and should not be treated as such. It is simply our own viewpoint on how we fit into this regulatory framework.