This year, OFCCP will for the first time be conducting focused reviews that hone in on contractors’ compliance with disability-related obligations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Because Section 503 compliance is a priority for OFCCP’s new leadership, contractors should undertake an internal audit to confirm that it complies with these obligations, including the compliance resources offered by OFCCP.
To help contractors prepare for focused reviews, on June 11, 2019, OFCCP posted a notice to contractors highlighting the resources and tools available to assist contractors in preparing for focused Section 503 reviews:
OFCCP’s Section 503 Focused Review webpage provides an array of links to additional information, including links to the relevant regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, a copy of the form Scheduling Letter, factsheets, FAQ’s, and best practices. Additional information regarding the Section 503 Review process can be found here.
OFCCP also encourages contractors to use the resources made available by its partner agency, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The ODEP provides webinars and training regarding the best practices for ensuring that employers create and maintain workplaces that are inclusive for people with disabilities. The ODEP also provides a workplace accommodation toolkit, which provides guidance for employees and employers alike regarding the process of evaluating and providing an employee with a workplace accommodation.
OFCCP expects that contractors to use these resources in developing its compliance programs and undertaking compliance self-audits. During audits, OFCCP compliance officers are unlikely to be sympathetic to claims that a contractor was not aware of its compliance obligations under Section 503 and the Rehabilitation Act. To assist contractors and subcontractors’ compliance efforts and audit responses, Polsinelli has developed compliance tools that comply with OFCCP obligations and guidance materials, including those listing in OFCCP’s posting.