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ADMINISTRATION OF THE FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAM IN THE FEDERAL SYSTEM AND WITHIN THE
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
LOCATION WITHIN THE FEDERAL ESTABLISHMENT
Introduction and Background
The Federal Contract Compliance Program enjoys several distinct advantages over other Federal equal employment programs which give it far greater capability to achieve equal opportunity for minorities and women with employers over which it has jurisdiction. First, unlike the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which also has jurisdiction over private employers, and the Department of Justice and Civil Service Commission, whose enforcement jurisdiction includes public employers, the Executive Order Program has the authority to initiate compliance investigations independently of discrimination charges. By not relying principally on complaints or other evidence of potential discrimination to initiate compliance and enforcement activities, OFCCP concentrates investigative and enforcement resources on those employers who--because of size, location, vacancy rate, higher paying jobs, patterns of employment of minorities and women and
related factors--are in a position to make the greatest impact on the employment problems of minorities and
The compliance review process has an added ad
vantage over complaint or charge oriented procedures in that its primary focus is on systemic or class-wide employment problems which affect greater numbers of persons. Too frequently complaint or charge initiated investigations focus on problems which affect individuals, although substantially the same amount of investigative resources is expended.
Title VII, which covers all employers, employment agencies, and labor unions who have 15 or more employers and are engaged in industries affecting commerce, establishes the investigation, conciliation, and prosecution of charges of discrimination as EEOC's primary function. Only 35 percent of EEOC's charges allege
class or systemic discrimination.1 An even smaller percentage is of such comprehensiveness as to cover an employers' total employment system as opposed to individual segments relating to hiring, assignments, training, promotion, etc. Section 707 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, authorizes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to initiate pattern
1. Staff Report on Investigation of Federal Enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity Laws (hereinafter referred to as Staff Report). Prepared for the Subcommittee on Equal Opportunities of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States House of Repre
and practice charges, investigations and suits which potentially have the same breadth as compliance reviews, other than affirmative action program issues. In December, 1976, the Subcommittee on Equal Opportunities reported that since the enactment of the 1972 amendments to Title VII which authorized this procedure, fewer than 100 pattern and practice charges have been initiated, and only five suits have been filed.2
Second, the Executive Order imposes on Federal contractors an affirmative action duty which is more extensive in impact than the obligations to refrain from employment discrimination or to remedy discrimination proven by the amendment. Under regulations in effect since 1971, Federal contractors must: identify and correct problems of systemic discrimination; evaluate levels and patterns of employment of minorities and women; establish goals and timetables to achieve prompt and full employment of those found to be underrepresented; implement employment procedures which prevent future discrimination.
The affirmative action obligation attaches a degree of sustained self administration to the equal employment requirements of the Executive Order. goals and timetables element of the obligation operates
independently of a finding of discrimination.