What is the best advice for an employer to avoid an affirmative action audit?

Author: Linda Segall, Segall Enterprises

While there is no foolproof way to avoid an affirmative action audit, the best course of action is to be prepared and maintain good records. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) tends to audit employers whose current record of employment and advancement of minorities and/or women appears to be poor, as well as those employers that win large federal contracts. However, the audit climate changes frequently.

Since it is impossible to predict when an audit might occur, employers that are federal contractors should maintain an affirmative action plan, monitor its progress and document the results.

To maintain the affirmative action plan data, employers must be able to analyze all hiring decisions, transfers and promotions. They should keep records of applicants, including their success or failure to be hired and the reasons why. Employers also should maintain data from voluntary tear-away sheets, observation or other means to be able to calculate the success rates for minorities and women in each job group, compared to those for whites and men, as determined by the provisions of the federal government's Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

Finally, employers should post required notices and otherwise comply with the provisions of equal employment opportunity regulations as found in +41 CFR 60-4.2 to help ensure they are prepared if the OFCCP decides to audit.