LABOR KEEPING UP OVERSIGHT ON SERVICE CONTRACTS

The Department of Labor sent out 1,000 notices to government contractors in the past month notifying them of potential reviews of their affirmative action, veteran’s hiring, and other EEO requirements.  The letters are required by law and do not automatically mean that a full-scale audit will occur.  Nevertheless, Office of Federal Contract Compliance personnel will conduct “desk audits” of many contractors to ensure that companies are adhering to the various hiring requirements contained in virtually every government contract awarded to a large business  Labor’s actions come at a time when some contractors had thought that the agency would take a more business-friendly stance after a substantial increase in Service Contract Act compliance efforts over the previous eight years.  While the latest action can’t be classified as “pro business” or “anti-business”, it does, indeed, underscore the importance of meeting EEO and various hiring preferences your firm may have signed up for as a condition of doing federal business.  Like any other aspect of contract compliance, it is important for companies to have policies and procedures in place to meet these obligations.  Unlike “inclusion” clauses touted in last week’s Oscar’s ceremony, the rules you have to follow are actually consistent with federal law.