If you are a federal contractor, you probably have equal employment opportunity (“EEO”) and affirmative action (“AA”) plans in place.  But if you are scratching your head and wondering if you have implemented these policies, perhaps it’s time to contact your local construction attorney and get some help drafting and implementing these policies.

Who Needs an EEO and AA Plan?

Any contractor who does more than $10,000 of government contract work annually is required to have an EEO policy that complies with Executive Order 11246.  Contractors with more than 50 employees must have an AA plan if they do more than $50,000 of government contracts annually.

What does an EEO Policy Require?

All contractors with more than $10,000 in government contracts are required to adopt policies prohibiting discrimination and include anti-discrimination policies in their contracts and subcontracts. Specifically, contractors must adopt a policy to:

Prohibit discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, physical or mental disability, or because an employee or applicant is a disabled veteran, recently separated veteran, other protected veteran.

What does an AA Plan Require?

An Affirmative Action Plan requires covered contractors to measure their EEO efforts and to engage in recruitment and outreach to attract, retain, and promote minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans where there is evidence of potential discriminatory practices against these groups.  There are three components to an AAP, which are found in Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (“VEVRAA”).  The first two requirements apply to any contractor doing more than $10,000 annually in government contracts and the VEVRAA requirements apply if you are doing more than $150,000 annually in government contracts.

EEO Contract Provisions

Government contractors are also required to include various notice provisions in their contracts, including an Equal Opportunity Clause.

EEO/AA Training

Finally, government contractors are required to train all employees on the company’s equal opportunity and affirmative action policies and provide additional training to supervisors.

Federal contractors have significant Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action responsibilities, but once you have the plans and training in place, you can easily meet your statutory responsibilities.  If you need help drafting your EEO or AA plans or training for your employees, we recommend you contact experienced construction counsel.