On April 1, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) opened its Contractor Portal for its annual Affirmative Action Program (AAP) certification. Covered federal contractors and subcontractors have until July 1 to sign in and certify they have developed, and continue to maintain, AAPs.  

Initially launched in December 2021, the AAP certification has become an annual requirement for many government contractors. This is the third time the OFCCP has required contractors certify to take certain AAP measures in an attempt to guarantee contractors are providing employees and applicants equal employment opportunities regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, or national origin. This requirement is borne from a Government Accountability Office concern that “OFCCP ha[d] no process for ensuring that the tens of thousands of establishments that have signed a qualifying federal contract have developed an AAP within 120 days of the commencement of the contract, or updated it annually.”

However, not all contractors are required to certify their compliance. Only supply and service contractors and subcontractors who “hold a contract of $50,000 or more and employ 50 or more employees must develop and maintain AAPs.” Notably, construction contractors are not required to complete an annual certification through the portal.

Those contractors who fail to timely submit their certification through the portal will put themselves at an increased risk of being subjected to a compliance evaluation—comprehensive analyses of a contractor’s employment practices which can take significant time and potentially impart liability. Contractors should understand whether they are required to submit a certification through the OFCCP portal and, when applicable, do so in a timely manner.

If you have any questions about whether your business must certify compliance with the AAP requirements or about the portal in general, please contact the author.