OFCCP Loosens Requirements for Employers Engaged in COVID-19 Response Efforts

OFCCP announced Wednesday that it will grant a limited, three-month exemption and waiver from some of its regular requirements for federal contractors responding to COVID-19. The exemption and waiver applies to new construction or supply and service contracts that are entered into from March 17, 2020 through June 17, 2020 specifically for the purpose of providing coronavirus relief. Director Craig Leen authorized such contracts to be exempted from:

  • all affirmative action obligations;
  • specific posting and notice requirements (including related to employee rights, job openings, labor unions, and more);
  • certain reporting requirements;
  • on-site compliance evaluations;

The exemption and waiver also applies to subcontractors under such contracts. However, the exemption and waiver does not exempt contractors from their non-discrimination obligations or the processing of complaints of discrimination, nor does it exempt contractors from their obligation to comply with other federal, state and local civil rights laws.

This move, similar to the exemption granted to federal contractors after Hurricane Katrina, is an attempt to induce companies to contribute to efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Companies that are not currently federal contractors and who obtain contracts solely for coronavirus efforts will benefit from these reduced regulatory hurdles. However, current federal contractors will remain subject to the current regulatory regime.

OFCCP issued limited FAQs on the exemption (here). We will keep you updated on future developments.