While many employers understand the significance of affirmative action in the employment realm, they may not realize the mandate for an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) under federal law.

As a condition of doing business with the federal government, qualifying contractors or subcontractors must have an AAP in place for the purpose of promoting equal employment and improving opportunities for women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans.

Is Your Organization Required to Have an Affirmative Action Plan?

Determining whether your organization needs an AAP hinges on certain factors. First, whether you are a federal contractor or subcontractor with 50 or more employees. If so, you must next determine if any of the following apply to you:

  • your organization holds a federal government contract valued at $50,000
  • your organization serves as a depository for government funds, or acts as a financial institution handling U.S. Savings Bonds and Savings Notes
  • your organization is a bank or credit union that is federally insured under FDIC or NCUA

What is the Purpose of an Affirmative Action Plan?

An AAP is not solely about combating unlawful discrimination under Title VII and state equal opportunity laws. It’s also rooted in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and Executive Order 11246. These laws collectively aim to promote equal employment opportunities and enhance prospects for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

Developing an AAP entails intricate processes. Employers must gather comprehensive workforce data and conduct statistical analyses on the utilization of protected classes, including women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Based on this analysis, the AAP outlines strategies to address any underutilization and enhance representation, encompassing initiatives like training programs, outreach efforts, and recruitment activities.

To ensure compliance, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) conducts audits on selected employers. Additionally, covered federal contractors and subcontractors must complete an annual certification regarding their affirmative action compliance. A failure to timely certify compliance may result in a higher likelihood that a covered contractor will be selected for compliance evaluations or audits. Therefore, it’s crucial for contractors to proactively develop their AAP and annually certify compliance to maintain eligibility for federal contracts and evade OFCCP penalties or remedies.

Need Assistance with AAP Compliance?

At the Nevada Association of Employers, we specialize in helping organizations determine their compliance obligations and support them in preparing and implementing action-oriented AAPs. Our AAP program streamlines this process to ensure full compliance with federal regulations. For inquiries about your AAP obligations, please reach out to us at (775) 329-4241 or info@nevadaemployers.org.