Are employers that have federal construction contracts required to have a written Affirmative Action Plan?

Author: Linda Segall, Segall Enterprises

No. Because of the fluid nature of the construction workforce, the obligations of employers having federal construction contracts of $10,000 or more are less paper-intensive and do not require a written Affirmative Action Plan. However, the requirements for affirmative action remain imposing. Employers are required to review processes and documents, analyze test results, keep track of applicants, post required notices and otherwise comply with equal employment opportunity laws.

According to the provisions of 41 C.F.R. 60-4, however, the Director of the OFCCP determines affirmative action goals for minorities and women by geographic area for federal construction contractors. These goals are expressed as a percentage of the hours worked by the contractor's aggregate workforce in each trade on all construction work performed in the geographic area, regardless of whether the work is federal, federally assisted or non-federal.

Goals for minority hiring are formulated in terms of work hours performed in a specific Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) or Economic Area (EA). The current goal for the utilization of women is 6.9 percent of work hours and applies to all of a contractor's construction sites regardless of where the federal or federally-assisted contract is being performed.

To monitor goal achievement, contractors are required to record the total hours worked by all construction employees and the number of hours worked by minority and female employees by construction trade on construction projects in a specific geographic area.

Federal construction employers also must demonstrate good faith efforts to meet their affirmative action goals for the employment of minorities and women in the construction industry.