As the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in the Department of Labor (DOL) has recently clarified its audit process for Federal contractors (for that information, please click here: https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/ ), there is also a reminder that Native Americans and Alaska Natives have an office within OFCCP that was designed to assist in employment rights of Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
Below are some highlights from the working brochure as well as a link:
- Does OFCCP have a working relationship with tribal employment rights organizations? Yes. OFCCP has a history of working with tribal employment rights organizations (TERO) and the Council for Tribal Employment Rights (CTER). In December 2014, OFCCP and CTER signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which fosters cooperation and a mutually beneficial working relationship. OFCCP and CTER also promote awareness of the employment rights for Indians and Native Americans who work for or seek job opportunities with federal contractors and subcontractors.
- Does OFCCP recognize tribal sovereignty? Yes. All DOL agencies work with Indian tribes in a manner that respects tribal self-government and sovereignty, honors tribal treaty and other rights, and meets the federal government’s tribal trust responsibilities. In December 2012, DOL published its Tribal Consultation Policy which establishes standards for improved consultation with federally recognized tribes to the extent that no conflict exists with applicable federal laws or regulations.
- In what ways does OFCCP assist Indian and Native American job seekers? OFCCP assists with establishing relationships between federal Native American community recruitment sources where federal contract work is being performed. For example, OFCCP routinely works with the construction industry to connect Indian and Native American job seekers with employment opportunities on long-term multi-million dollar federally funded construction projects.
- Does OFCCP have a policy on hiring preferences for Indians? Yes. OFCCP encourages federal contractors and subcontractors to voluntarily extend a publicly announced hiring preference to Indians living on or near Indian reservations or other recognized tribal lands in connection with employment opportunities on or near those lands. For this purpose, “near” includes any area within a reasonable distance for commuting to and from in the course of a work day. However, using such a preference does not allow companies to discriminate among Indians on the basis of religion, sex, or tribal affiliation. It also does not excuse them from complying with OFCCP’s other requirements.
- What are contractors’ responsibilities? Employers awarded a covered federal contract or subcontract must comply with OFCCP’s regulations including, but not limited to: Collecting and maintaining personnel and employment records, and other information and data. Giving OFCCP access to their workplaces, personnel and employment records, and other information and data, during a complaint investigation or compliance evaluation. Posting the equal employment opportunity (EEO) poster and poster supplements, and the pay transparency notice to educate workers about their rights. Stating in all solicitations or advertisements for employment that all qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. Providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.
- What do I do if I believe I am being discriminated against? If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a federal contractor or subcontractor, you may file a complaint with OFCCP. Complaints may be filed in person, by mail, fax or electronically. To make the complaint process as efficient and timely as possible, include a description of the alleged discrimination and any other related information that would assist in an investigation of the complaint. If the complaint of discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or because you discussed, disclosed, or asked about your pay or the pay of a coworker it must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. If the complaint alleges a violation based on disability or status as a protected veteran, it must be filed within 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination.