The NILG (National Industry Liaison Group) has communicated with OFCCP leadership regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the Agency and contractors. The OFCCP has advised the NILG that contractors impacted by the virus can request extensions of time to respond to Scheduling Letters and requests for information. Contractors that experience problems or difficulties in obtaining extensions are encouraged to contact the Ombuds office at 202-693-1174. In addition, Director Leen tells the NILG that the Agency will review ways to continue conducting Section 503 focused compliance reviews during this emergency, perhaps using video conferencing instead of onsite reviews.
The OFCCP also announced that it has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Interest Exemption applies to new supply and service and construction contracts entered into from March 17, 2020 to June 17, 2020 that are to provide Coronavirus relief, and this period of exemption may be extended. The OFCCP has issued FAQs on this National Interest Exemption. These FAQs note that “only new supply & service and construction contracts solely for the specific purpose of providing Coronavirus relief are covered by the exemption.” Further, “contractors that hold contracts unrelated to coronavirus relief, and thus were already required to comply with the affirmative action requirements of laws enforced by OFCCP, must continue to do so.”