OFCCP released its Construction Contractors Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) in November, with the goal of aiming "to help federal construction contractors meet all of their obligations required under the law." The new TAG for the construction industry is another piece of OFCCP's mission to support federal contractors fulfill their requirements.
You can find additional information for construction contractors on OFCCP's website to help you learn more. As for the TAG itself, while the latest release has many details to go through, there are two major takeaways for employers:
1) Internet Applicant Rule
OFCCP spends many pages discussing who qualifies as Internet Applicants and who doesn't. The emphasis on this area is a strong message to construction contractors to remind them they are required to properly track applicants in the same way. This applies even for organizations who hire through Union halls.
Understandably, proper tracking can be a challenge in this industry as the hiring processes and timing of hires are often different than companies in the supply and service industry. However, OFCCP is stressing that construction contractors must still know and adhere to the Internet Applicant Rule guidelines, even if they are using more non-traditional ways of finding candidates.
2) Integration of new regulations added in 2014
The biggest update in the new TAG is the additional information on the regulations for VEVRAA and Section 503. These detailed requirements weren't a part of the previous TAG, making them a large portion of what construction contractors need to understand.
Despite being in an industry that utilizes various processes and could face potential issues in hiring certain individuals, construction contractors are not exempt from the obligations for recruiting veterans and individuals with disabilities (IWD). It is likely construction contractors will need to explain the "real world" challenges that often prevent them from following VEVRAA and Section 503 obligations dutifully.
In terms of VEVRAA and posting to the ESDS, some projects may need 30 workers within the next week, and the job will only last another week itself. What are the employers' responsibilities? Will items be posted in time? What about the union?
With Section 503, it is important for contractors to recognize that the definition of an individual with a disability is broad, so they need to emphasize outreach to these potential applicants as well. While some disabilities may be dangerous on a construction site, others pose no safety threat and should be a focus on them.
More information and analysis will be needed as we move forward, so be sure to check in with LocalJobNetwork to find the latest updates. As always, feel free to check out all of our OFCCP insight and compliance resources library to guide you along the way.