Federal contractors and affirmative action — Pennsylvania
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which is within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), enforces Executive Order 11246 and two laws that prohibit employment discrimination and require affirmative action by companies doing business with the federal government. The DOL estimates that roughly 254,000 businesses, employing about 20% of the workforce, are covered under the Executive Order and/or the laws enforced by OFCCP.
Affirmative action refers to proactive steps an employer takes to employ, retain, and provide work opportunities for individuals from certain protected classes that may be underrepresented in the employer’s workforce. Affirmative action is not about quotas, giving preferential treatment to one protected class over others, or reducing employment standards. It is aimed at ensuring equal employment opportunities for all.
Affirmative action can be mandated by law or it may be undertaken voluntarily. This topic focuses on certain mandatory obligations of employers that contract with the federal government, either as contractors or subcontractors.
In most instances, only state agencies in Pennsylvania are subject to state affirmative action requirements. Nevertheless, when entering into contracts with state or local agencies, ask the contracting officer about any applicable affirmative action/nondiscrimination obligations. For instance, private employers contracting with the...
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