The following is the third blog in a series focusing on EEO requirements and best practices for federal contractors regarding website content. Part 1 in the series focused on posting and notice requirements. Part 2 addressed accommodations for web users. Part 3 will examine online job postings.
Regulations implementing Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) require that covered federal contractors and subcontractors notify job seekers that the organization is an equal opportunity employer through use of taglines when job openings are advertised. An example of an acceptable notice given by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) states “qualified applicants will be considered without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.”
Fortunately, contractors are also allowed to utilize an abbreviated version of the standard tagline. The phrase, “equal opportunity employer” or “EOE” can be utilized as a substitute for “qualified applicants will be considered without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.”. Employers can then simply add the terms “disability” and “vet” for a “complete” tagline. Note that Biddle recommends spelling out “veteran,” even though the OFCCP allows the abbreviation. But the shortest, compliant tagline would read simply, “EOE disability/vet.” For a more detailed discussion, visit our BCGi Encyclopedia page here.
Federal contractors are also required to engage in proactive statistical analyses of their employment selection processes, like hiring. This is actually the main reason most job postings list “basic” and “preferred” qualifications separately. While it makes intuitive sense to do so, contractor employers must if they want to avail themselves of the OFCCP’s “Internet Applicant Rule,” which allows them to eliminate candidates from their hiring analyses if they did not meet the ”basic qualifications” for the position. If the job was not listed, the employer must have established the basic qualifications prior to reviewing candidates in order to apply the Internet Applicant Rule. For more discussion of the Internet Applicant rule, visit the BCGi Encyclopedia here.
The regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal contractors to review all job qualifications on some scheduled basis (to be determined by the contractor, but “as necessary,” or “as jobs are posted” is typically not accepted by the OFCCP as a “schedule”). During OFCCP compliance reviews, contractors have been asked to submit evidence that these reviews have been conducted. It is a best practice to keep records which list the date of the review, findings of the review, and any action items taken, if any. For a more robust discussion of this seemingly complex and cumbersome requirement, check out our BCGi Encyclopedia entry here (and breathe a sigh of relief because it isn’t that bad).
Learn more about this topic at our August 30, 2022 webinar, “Tips for Conducting a Website Review for Federal Contractors.” Register today!