On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new directive issued by its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which enforces equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws that apply to federal contractors. These laws generally prohibit all contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government from making employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

New Directive

The new OFCCP directive, titled “DIR 2022-02: Effective Compliance Evaluations and Enforcement,” provides updated guidance on the agency’s federal contractor expectations and compliance evaluations. It was issued by the OFCCP and went into effect on March 31, 2022.

OFCCP Compliance Evaluations

As part of its enforcement efforts, OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations of federal contractors to identify and remedy systemic barriers to opportunity and promote compliance. The OFCCP’s new directive aims to reduce delays in and otherwise improve these evaluations by:

  • Promoting timely exchanges of information;
  • Using enhanced scheduling procedures to reach a broader range of federal contractors; and
  • Encouraging federal contractors to take a proactive approach to compliance.

Employer Impact

The new directive does not establish any legally enforceable rights or obligations. However, federal contractors covered by OFCCP-enforced EEO laws should become familiar with it to help ensure compliance.