On May 15, 2013, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) posted a notice informing federal contractors that they must begin using the 2006-2010 EEO Tabulation (“2010 Census Data”) for affirmative action plans (“AAPs”) created after January 1, 2014.
Federal contractors with fifty or more employees and a covered federal contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more are required to create and maintain AAPs annually. One key requirement of an AAP is the determination of the availability of qualified minorities and women for the contractor’s job openings. Contractors use availability numbers to establish benchmarks to determine if they have any underrepresentation of females or minorities in their current workforce. OFCCP requires contractors to “use the most current and discrete statistical information available” to determine their external availability estimates for their AAPs.
As we previously reported, the Census Bureau began releasing the 2010 Census Data last November. This data is the most current statistical information available for contractors to determine availability. The 2010 Census Data is set of over 100 tables that break down the labor force in the United States by sex, race, and ethnicity that is searchable by various variables, such as geography and occupation.
In its notice, OFCCP indicated that it solicited input from contractors about transitioning to the 2010 Census Data. Although it found that some contractors had already implemented the 2010 Census Data, it realized that, for many contractors, “converting their IT systems and availability calculations to the new data will take time due to changes in the coding and categorization” of the 2010 Census Data. As a result, the OFCCP is allowing contractors until January 1, 2014 to use the 2010 Census Data in their AAPs, but noted that contractors could use it earlier if they wished to do so.
In light of this notice, contractors should start assessing how they can incorporate the 2010 Census Data into their availability analysis for their 2014 plans. In addition, contractors who establish goals for their 2013 plans using old census data should consider rerunning their availability analysis using the 2010 Census Data to see if it eliminates or reduces goals.