On May 23, 2012, AGC joined 10 other national business associations in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Labor urging her to reconsider a series of new affirmative action mandates the Department of Labor proposes to impose on contractors working on federal projects.
The proposed rules come from the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). They would make very dramatic changes to rules requiring affirmative action for veterans and individuals with disabilities. The two rules are very similar to each other, their administrative and financial burdens are nearly equal, and both are expected to become final later this year. They require firms to meet sweeping new reporting requirements, establish formal partnership agreements with community outreach programs to help with recruiting, and put in place new training programs, among other costly new measures. If firms fail to meet the “goals” set out in the two proposed rules, they face federal audits and potential debarment from working on future federal contracts.
Administration officials significantly underestimated the cost to construction employers of the proposed rules, according to an analysis released by AGC. According to the analysis, the proposed rule for the disabled could cost employers 30 times more than officials predict, while the proposed rule for veterans could cost employers 20 times more than originally estimated.
For more information on the individuals with disabilities rule, click here. For more information on the veterans rule, click here.