On August 2, 2018, during an impassioned speech at the National Industry Liaison Group’s annual conference in Anaheim, California, OFCCP Acting Director Craig Leen announced that the agency will bring back “focused reviews” looking at contractors’ Section 503 compliance.

He made his remarks during the “Leading Practices in Disability Inclusion” break out session at the conference, at which he shared his personal experiences and why he is so committed to eliminating disability discrimination. He explained that the focused review would include an onsite visit and interviews with managers and the contractor’s ADA coordinators. Acting Director Leen stated he would also like the reviews to look at hiring practices, the contractor’s efforts to meet the 7% benchmark, and how the contractor handles requests for reasonable accommodations.

To emphasize his point, Acting Director Leen stated that “compliance with Section 503 is a priority of” OFCCP, and this focus has the support of Secretary of Labor Acosta.

Key Takeaway. Compliance with Section 503 and its implementing regulations is now clearly a focus of OFCCP. Even if contractors are not chosen for a focused review, they can expect that compliance with OFCCP’s disability discrimination and affirmative action requirements will be a focus of any compliance evaluation. For this reason, contractors are well advised to ensure that (1) they are tracking and are undertaking affirmative efforts to achieve the 7% benchmark; (2) they have adopted and implemented effective disability accommodation and discrimination policies; (3) they are performing annual reviews of job requirements; (4) they are undertaking and documenting the interactive process for accommodating employees with disabilities; and (5) their facilities comply with ADA accessibility requirements.