Diagnosing the Risk: Affirmative Action Obligations for Health Care Providers


Health care providers have long lived in a world of acronyms, but in recent years, a new acronym has arisen in connection with many health care-related headlines: OFCCP.

The OFCCP is the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor that enforces various employment-related obligations for federal contractors and subcontractors. The extent to which health care providers are subject to the OFCCP's jurisdiction remains a hotly debated issue, and the stakes are high. Companies that have a federal contract or subcontract must comply with myriad obligations, from listing open positions with state workforce agencies to developing affirmative action plans to continually reviewing their hiring and compensation practices for potential bias.

Many health care organizations do not know that they are covered by the laws the OFCCP enforces. In this article, we provide an introduction to understanding this complex issue by addressing:

  • What does the OFCCP do?
  • When might a health care provider be a federal contractor or subcontractor?
  • Illustrative Case: UPMC Braddock v. Harris
  • What obligations does a covered federal contractor or subcontractor have?
  • What should health care providers do to minimize their risk of facing the OFCCP's wrath?


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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