In the wake of the devastating series of hurricanes throughout the United States, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has provided compliance exemptions to federal contractors providing hurricane relief. OFCCP has issued three National Interest Exemptions: one for Hurricane Harvey; one for Hurricane Irma; and one for Hurricane Maria.
The notices provide contractors providing hurricane relief with an exemption from the requirement to develop a written affirmative action program for both women and minorities and veterans and individuals with disabilities. Contractors are still required to post the “Equal Opportunity is the Law” poster, maintain records as required by federal contracting regulations and post employment listings “with the appropriate employment service delivery system as required by VEVRAA.”
This is strictly a three month exemption for contractors entering into contracts for hurricane relief. For Hurricane Harvey, the exemption runs from September 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017. For Hurricane Irma, the exemption runs from September 8, 2017 to December 8, 2017. For Hurricane Maria, the exemption runs from September 21, 2017 to December 21, 2017. Each exemption is subject to extension as necessary.
Contractors should note that these exemptions only apply to contracts entered into for hurricane relief during this timeframe. Thus, contractors that already maintain existing contracts with the federal government must continue to comply with the compliance obligations stemming from those contracts.
As an additional measure of relief, OFCCP has also extended the time for all federal contractors to file the annual VETS-4212 report. The OFCCP extended the deadline to file this report, which is usually due by September 30, by 45 days. The report now be filed by November 15, 2017.
We will continue to monitor any further updates or exemptions issued by OFCCP in the wake these natural disasters.