Without waiting for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to act on the completion of joint guidance, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a final rule on the subject of internet-based job applications.
Without waiting for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to act on the completion of joint guidance, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a final rule on the subject of internet-based job applications. The final rule, which contains some modifications to the OFCCP's original proposal, provides guidance to government contractors who are required to record gender, race, and ethnicity data on job applicants. It will become effective on February 6, 2006.
The OFCCP's existing record-keeping standards continue to apply to jobs for which a government contractor does not obtain applicants through the use of the internet or related technologies and for which it does not accept any electronic submissions of interest. However, the final rule will apply to those jobs for which a government contractor obtains applicants through the acceptance of expressions of interest via the internet or related technologies (e.g., e-mail, resume databanks, employer website). In the latter case, the government contractor "where possible" must identify and record the gender, race, and ethnicity of each applicant for the job, including each "internet applicant."
The final rule defines "internet applicant" as an individual who:
- submits an expression of interest in employment through the internet or related technologies;
- is considered by the government contractor for a particular position;
- indicates in the expression of interest that he or she possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
- at no point in the selection process, removes himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in employment in the position.
So that the OFCCP can evaluate whether a government contractor is properly identifying and recording data with respect to each "internet applicant," the final rule also requires the contractor to retain records of all internet-based expressions of interest in employment if the individual was considered for a particular position. This provision of the final rule is a small concession to government contractors as the OFCCP's original proposal would have required the retention of all expressions of interest in employment.
The full text of the final rule should be available soon at http://www.dol.gov/esa. If you have any questions about this rule or OFCCP record-keeping requirements, please contact the author of this Alert, Karin Verdon, or the Ford & Harrison attorney with whom you usually work.