An Affirmative Action Plan for Government Contracted Businesses

by Danielle Collazo, Featured Contributor

Affirmative action plans for businesses with government contracts or subcontracts are required by Title VII and individual state equal opportunity laws. The scope of affirmative action in the workplace entails taking the initiative to hire minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Above hiring these groups, quality monitoring procedures and internal audits can help ensure that businesses are maintaining effective plans for equal opportunity employment. There are three separate laws these businesses must comply with (detailed below).

th-e1382553795953Employers should embrace the opportunity to cultivate a diverse, multi-dimensional team. By broadening your employee demographics, your company is situated to be “ready for anything” and able to extend its outreach to groups it may not have had access to in the past. The protected groups have learned to overcome personal hurdles, signifying that they are problem solvers, adaptable, and are positioned to provide added value to your company.

The Executive Order 11246 (E.O 11246) – to ensure that businesses contracted or subcontracted with the federal government do not discriminate against applicants based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” businesses are required to create an even distribution of minorities among functions within the company.

Developing an Affirmative Action Plan

1. Create an organizational profile: list each position divided by business unit with supervisor and employee information including: title, race, gender, and ethnicity (ask each business unit head to identify their employees)

2. Job role analysis: divide the business into role categories and define wages, pay, and opportunities for growth and mobility

3. Determining diversity: define the percent of minorities in each group

4. Diversity benchmarking: gather local demographic data to “benchmark” the business’ percent of minorities versus the community percent of minorities in the job pool

5. Analyze diversity data: determine where there is room for increased affirmative action by comparing the company’s percent of minorities employed to the area’s available minorities

6. Develop goals: write out measurable goal to increase the number of minorities employed (discuss with BU heads)

7. Maintain records: for at least one year (required by law for businesses with < 150 employees) of job descriptions and where they are posted, applications and resumes submitted, interview notes and tests, job offers, policies and procedures, and employee files

Recruiting Candidates

1. Selectively recruit through special interest groups (e.g., NAACP, all women’s college, etc.)

2. Ensure that when interviewing for an open position, the number of minority interviewees is in line with the incumbency data

3. Maintain internal progress audits and keep records of hiring data in a pivot table.

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)/Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) – A critical part of the JVA is to implement training programs so that veterans have opportunities to take on new challenges and broaden their professional horizon (DOL VEVRAA n.d.). A Vietnam Veteran is defined as a person who served in the any U.S. military branch for over 180 days and exited the military for reasons aside from a dishonorable discharge as well as a person who was in the “Republic of Vietnam [or another location] between February 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975… or between August 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975.”

Reporting Required by Law to be completed by Human Resources

1. Report thorough the VETS-100 Report annually to the Secretary of Labor how many employees and newly hired employees fall under the Veteran category (LSU n.d.)

2. Implement training programs (Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and report through the 41 CFR Part 61- 250 (LSU n.d.).

Recruiting Candidates

1. Post job listings to VA Web sites

2. Develop relationships with patient liaisons at VA hospitals to let them know about job openings your company has

3. Improve handicap accessible workspaces and be sure to have any technologies that can help ease the difficulty of injuries sustained while at war

4. Offer discrete mental counseling to minimize post-war effects

5. Develop training programs that are related to job positions that will be opening in order to facilitate the ability to hire additional veterans

6. Ask your current veteran employees for referrals.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – Employers cannot purposely treat persons with disabilities differently through recruiting, fringe benefits, job advancement, salary, or exclusion from corporate social programs. Moreover, an alcoholic/drug abuser is considered a disabled person; however, an employee has the right to issue a drug test and require that influential substances are not used in the workplace.

Developing a Plan

1. Create an affirmative action plan for disabled persons and make it readily available. The plan should include the following:

• How to file a complaint
• Internal audit of the hiring/interview process
• Evaluation of the mental/physical requirements for all job positions
• Action plan to increase the disability-friendly environment
• Disciplinary action plan for harassment
• Maintaining a database of positive recruitment methods
• Accountability of personnel to ensure that this program is being followed
• Periodic monitoring, evaluation, and improving of the program

2. Allow the disabled person to self-identify with their disability after a job offer is made (to be discussed with senior management in the human resources department)

3. Maintain an environment in which disabled persons have access to job promotions and upward mobility is welcomed at all levels (discuss with business unit heads for openings)

Recruiting Candidates

1. Create a network within the community to find outlets to post job offerings that will easily reach disabled persons

2. Consult with physical/mental rehabilitation centers on best practices for creating an open environment

3. Do administer drug tests to any disabled persons to insure they are not taking illegal substances, as this falls within an employer’s rights

4. Offer training to boost their skills and increase disabled persons upward mobility.

Resources: DOL Web site, e-CFR Data (2012)


Danielle Collazo
Danielle Collazo
DANIELLE is a Biotech consulting industry professional with a passion for business integrity and compliance. She currently supports the CEO of a boutique biotech consulting firm in company operations, training, and market research. Danielle graduated with a Master's in Business Ethics and Compliance (GPA: 3.94) from New England College of Business in 2013 and attained My BA in Communications from SUNY Albany in 2009. Her areas of specialty are strategy, problem solving, implementing contingency/remediation solutions, and strategies to create a compliant corporate culture. She grew up on Long Island and currently lives in the greater Boston area.

SOLD OUT! JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE