Scheduling letters for Section 503 Focused Reviews are in the mail and landing in your mailbox.
On March 25, 2019 the Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) was published. It is the first time in OFCCP history that the CSAL included establishments that are scheduled for Section 503 Focused Reviews. Section 503 Focused Reviews cover only those obligations that are specified in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
It is important to note that a Focused Review will be conducted at a multi-establishment contractor’s headquarters and will be on site. The latest OFCCP FAQ on Section 503 says that the on sites will not be conducted until after September 1, 2019.
There is still time to prepare.
OFCCP Director Craig Leen opened the 2019 ILG National Conference with a Keynote statement that included information on the Section 503 Focused Reviews. He stated that compliance officers will be looking for a contractor’s efforts for “Inclusion and Effectiveness”. At the same time he also talked about a positive tone of the Focused Reviews which will include efforts by the Agency to improve systems. A large part of the review will include a review of a contractor’s record keeping obligations, see 41 CFR § 60- 741.44(k). Contractors should also be prepared to provide information on the effectiveness of the outreach programs and how they may impact other areas of the affirmative action program, see 41 CFR § 60-741.44(f). A link to the complete Section 503 Scheduling Letter is provided in the Resource section below.
The Section 503 Focused Review will include a request to provide the OFCCP with accommodation records. A contractor is required to maintain a record of accommodation requests for both employees and applicants. During the Section 503 Focused Review, it is likely that the compliance officer will not only request a detailed listing of accommodation requests made during the audit review period (and the status of those requests), but also request information regarding your accommodation process/policy. As part of this Focused Review, the compliance officer will also request information regarding how applicants and employees are invited to self-identify their status as an individual with a disability. A contractor should now be in the process of re-surveying the employee workforce as required by the Section 503 regulations. It requires a re-survey of the workforce in five year intervals starting at the initial year that the contractor became subject to Section 503 regulations. If one or more of your establishments was included on the CSAL list as a Focused Review, now is the perfect time to review all of the compliance requirements included on the Section 503 Scheduling Letter; ensure that you have the documentation available that fulfills the requirements; and be prepared to manage the On Site meeting at your headquarters location.