Exercising his authority under federal law to act “in the national interest,” Craig Leen, Acting Director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), has issued a memorandum to all federal contracting agencies giving them permission to waive written affirmative action program (AAP) requirements for contracts entered into to provide Hurricane Florence relief.

The waiver period is for three months, or until December 17, 2018, and is subject to further extension if “special circumstances in the national interest so require.” More specifically, federal contracting agencies are permitted to amend the required Executive Order (EO) clauses by adding prescribed language exempting the contractor from the obligation to develop written AAPs.

Please note that unlike previous waivers granted by OFCCP in conjunction with hurricane relief efforts, OFCCP has not (at least yet) announced a formal moratorium on the scheduling of new compliance audits of facilities in areas impacted by the hurricane. Instead, guidance issued in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) simply notes, “OFCCP will contact contractors with open compliance evaluations in the impacted areas regarding the status of their evaluation and next steps.”

The exemption and waiver applies to federal supply and service contractors as well as construction contractors. As it has in the past, OFCCP will maintain jurisdiction over affected contractors to investigate discrimination complaints, and supply and service contractors are still subject to certain provisions in the EO clause to inform employees of their rights, keep records, and list open positions with state job boards.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.