Affirmative Action Audits

Editor's Note: Effective affirmative action internal audits can avert later problems.

David B. WeisenfeldOverview: Most employers understandably wish to avoid facing an audit from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which oversees affirmative action planning (AAP). While there is no certain way to avoid an audit, a well-presented affirmative action program that is supported by data and examples is a key first step.

One requirement of a written affirmative action plan (AAP) is to have an internal audit and reporting system in place to measure the effectiveness of the AAP as a whole. This audit process includes a review of equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies, an audit of personnel activity, a review of documentation to ensure compliance, a review of the employer's goals and its AAP content review.

As part of the process, the HR manager should prepare a checklist, then initial and date each phase of the audit, including an applicant flow log that shows the name, race, sex, date of application and action taken for every candidate who applied for a job.

When the OFCCP comes calling to perform an audit, it checks to make sure the employer has made a good-faith effort in working toward its goals. This effort should reveal the goal placement rate and actual placement rate of both minorities and women. It also should include any recommended remedial actions that have been taken.

During any on-site review, an employer should ask the investigator to raise issues as they arise. The employer then should address all concerns with positive, truthful answers that preferably are in writing.

Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor

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HR considerations involving internal and OFCCP affirmative action audits.