By Bruce B. Deadman
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) recently announced that affirmative action plans dated January 1, 2014 or later need to use 2010 Census data (as opposed to 2000 census data). Contractors who wish to use that data immediately may choose to do so. Read the OFCCP’s official announcement here.
As a result, federal contractors will have to use the new Census data for availability, impact ratio analyses, and other matters associated with those plans no later than January 1, 2014.
Gathering and interpreting Census data, and matching it to appropriate job descriptions and geographic data sets, may require more time than is feasible for many contractors. The good news is that there are not significant differences between the 2000 and 2010 data files used for these analyses. Nonetheless, 10 years is a long time, and significant time and effort will be required to get up to speed and successfully convert your plans.
This is a good opportunity to evaluate your plans to determine, for example, whether you have chosen the correct occupational data matches for your job descriptions, and whether the recruitment areas you have chosen are appropriate. These and other areas have come under increased scrutiny by the OFCCP.
If you do not have an affirmative action plan, but do federal or state work, it is very important that you evaluate whether or not a plan is required. Generally, federal contractors or subcontractors with at least 100 employees and $50,000 per year in federal contracts, and state contractors or subcontractors with at least 25 employees and a contract for at least $50,000 are required to establish and maintain an affirmative action plan. Failure to do so can result in penalties, or, in some cases, debarment from federal or state contracts.