As part of their effort to augment the hiring of individuals with a disability, part of the OFCCP’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making requires federal contractors with affirmative action plans to list job opportunities and/or have entered into linkage agreements with 4 separate recruitment resources. The Notice, unfortunately, offers absolutely no strategies and information related to the type of success rate relating to referrals from using those sources, as part of obtaining significant employment, and also recommendations as to the format or content related with the contracts. The definition of “linkage agreements” communicates who is required to ratify the contract, however the suggested rules do not offer any sort of further advice as to the expected content of the contracts. Contractors clearly believe that these are the types of relationships that are critical for the referral and selection of suitable candidates with a disability.
The inability of the OFCCP to provide contractors clear guidance regarding their affirmative action efforts suggests that OFCCP has not thought the matter through and should withdraw the proposed requirement all together.
The Agency’s failure to endorse a national employment service further confirmst their lack of seriousness regarding the Proposed Rule. When one reviews current sources listed by OFCCP as linkage programs it is evident that such sources will not provide the quality referrals OFCCP suggests. In addition these organizations have not been vetted to ensure that they will accept and be able to handle the 10’s of thousands of requests for contractors.
Again, OFCCP should clearly reassess or completely withdraw the mandated requirement affirmative action/federal contractors recruit from such lists or resources. no assurances that these organizations are prepared to handle this volume of requests.
One more issue with the OFCCP’s Notice is that the disregard the years contractors have spent establishing relationships with organizations for individuals with a disability that are much better qualified to provide suitable candidates. We are concerned that they will have to forego these beneficial relationships yielding qualified individuals with a disability for other agencies dictated by the OFCCP. Thus, the NILG suggests that, to the extent the OFCCP requires contractors select sources from the lists provided by the Agency, the OFCCP implement a process whereby contractors can suggest entities to be added to the pool of eligible agencies.