Affirmative Action: Requires the Elimination of Any Barriers to Equal Employment Opportunity

Executive Order 11246 Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as
amended, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment
Assistance Act ban discrimination and require Federal contractors and
subcontractors to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity for
employment, regardless ofrace, color, religion, sex, national origin,
disability or status (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs 2002).
The implementing arm is the OFCCP, which exercises jurisdiction over
approximately 26 million or close to 22% of the civilian labor force,
consisting of almost 100,000 non-construction establishments and 100,000
construction establishments.
The Executive Order, through the OFCCP, requires the elimination of
any barriers to equal employment opportunity as a condition to a federal
contract. The OFCCP also investigates complaints of discrimination (OFCCP
2002) and implements programs to prevent it. A contracting agency must
include the equal opportunity clause in its nonexempt government contracts
and this equal opportunity clause requires the contractor-employer to
assure that race, color, religion, sex and national origin will not be
conditions or considerations in applications for employment and in the
treatment of employees (OFCCP). Focus is on minorities such as American
Indian or Alaskan native, Asian or Pacific islander, black and Hispanic
persons. Failure to do observe this rule constitutes violation of the
contract and subjects it to cancellation, termination or suspension
(OFCCP). Otherwise, the contractor can be ineligible for future government
contracts at a fixed or indefinite period.
Unresolved questions or matters are referred by the OFCCP to the
Office of the Solicitor of Labor, which may initiate administrative
proceedings until a Department of Labor Administrative Law Judges hears and
issues recommended findings of fact, conclusions and an order. From there,

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