The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has outlined steps for applying for Functional Affirmative Action Programs (FAAPs). FAAPs are an alternative to Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs), which are required under the OFCCP’s enforcement authority, namely, Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).

Traditional AAPs are written documents detailing action to be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. Where AAPs are typically organized by establishment, FAAPs allow contractors to enter into an agreement with the OFCCP to organize their AAP(s) around business or “functional” units. The OFCCP envisions the FAAP program to appeal to multi-establishment federal contractors that “have large business or functional units such as a Sales Division or a Research and Development function that spans across establishments located in different states or regions.”

OFCCP is encouraging the use of FAAPs based on the agency’s belief that “a company with a FAAP may find that it is easier to organize and analyze data, identify issues, establish clear lines of responsibility for implementing its AAP, and monitor progress.”

Employers looking to apply for a FAAP agreement should adhere to these five steps, as outlined by the OFCCP:

  1. Submit your application within 120 days of receiving a federal contract or 120 days before your current AAP expires;
  2. A FAAP team member will conduct an initial review and will notify you if anything is missing;
  3. Once all necessary documents are received, the full review and analysis period begins. This should take no longer than 60 days;
  4. If approved, a draft agreement is recommended and submitted for signature by the contractor;
  5. Once resubmitted to the FAAP Branch, the OFCCP director provides a final signature and the agreement goes into effect.

The OFCCP has made Acting FAAP Branch Chief Tina Williams’ contact information available if employers need assistance throughout the process. It can be viewed by clicking here.

Earlier this year the OFCCP released a revision to Directive 2013-01 that established policies and procedures for requesting and maintaining FAAPs.

Among the changes made to FAAPs include:

  1. The OFCCP no longer requires that FAAP contractors undergo at least one compliance evaluation during the term of their FAAP agreement;
  2. Complete FAAP applications are determined within 60 days;
  3. There is a minimum of three years between compliance evaluations for a single function unit;
  4. The FAAP agreement term is extended from three years to five years and;
  5. The OFCCP will no longer consider compliance history when reviewing a request for a new FAAP agreement or termination.

Employers considering FAAPs should seek advice as to whether FAAPs are appropriate for their operations.

To learn more about achieving pay equity, click here.