Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements. For a period of three months, from March 17, 2020 to June 17, 2020, subject to possible extension, new federal contracts to provide COVID-19 relief efforts will be exempt from several obligations under Executive Order 11246; the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
After the exemption was announced, the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) received clarification on how the OFCCP will be operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the OFCCP will:
- Grant an automatic 30-day extension for submission of AAPs after receipt of scheduling letter.
- Grant an automatic additional 30-day extension to contractors who submit their written AAP narrative within 60 days of receipt of scheduling letter (i.e., provide another 30 days for submission of all data reports and analyses).
- Grant an automatic extension of 14 days, and more commonly of 30 days, for contractor response to information requests, with opportunity for further extensions as needed.
- Conduct 503 focused review onsites via video or phone conference only until contractors begin resuming normal operations.
If contractors request further extensions, the OFCCP will “liberally grant” them. This is welcome news for contractors who are already navigating the newly enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.