An Affirmative Action Plan or Affirmative Action Program (AAP) is a management tool designed to ensure equal employment opportunities (recruitment, selection, advancement, etc.) through the use of diagnostic analyses based off internal audits and reporting systems. For the past two weeks, we have blogged about the inner workings of EEO and VETS Reporting. To piggy-back off those topics, we’re going to take a closer look at AAPs and the Who, What, and When of the Program’s process.
There is a common misconception among employers that it is required to have an AAP in place to comply with Title VII requirements and state EEO laws. Organizations must enforce an AAP as a condition of doing business with the federal government, but an AAP could also be implemented by a court of law, or voluntary as a remedy for past patterns of discrimination. Most organizations opt out of AAPs unless they are required to implement them due to their complex nature and management.
There are certain employers (who conduct business with the federal government) that are required to have an AAP enforced in their organization:
- Contractors with contracts over $10,000, with regard to qualified individuals with disabilities (as per Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
- Contractors who entered in to contracts before December 1, 2003, with 50+ employees and contracts of $25,000+ must enforce affirmative action by employing veterans of various classes (as per the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, or VEVRAA)
- Contractors who entered in to contracts on or after December 1, 2003, with 50+ employees and contracts of $50,000+ must enforce a written AAP (as per VEVRAA)
- Contractors who entered in to contracts on or after December 1, 2003, with 50+ employees and contracts of $100,000+ must enforce a written AAP (as per VEVRAA)
What & When:
If an organization meets any of the above criteria, they are required to prepare a written AAP within 120 days from the start of a federal contract, as required by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Thereafter, monitoring of the AAP is required every 24 months. Note that AAP reports are not filed with OFCCP, but are reserved on record by the employer in the event of an audit by the OFCCP.
Although AAPs are not for every employer, nor are they required for every organization, the OFCCP has found Affirmative Action Programs to be a useful and powerful management tool when utilized properly.
For additional information on Affirmative Action Programs, please visit the following government link: