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October 26, 2011

OFCCP: Do Financial Institutions Still Need Affirmative Action Plans??

Filed under: Affirmative Action,Compliance,General HR Buzz — Tags: 11:01 am

You may have already heard that beginning January 1, 2012, financial institutions will no longer sell U.S. savings bonds.  In order to buy savings bonds, you will need to do so through the U.S. Treasury Department’s website:  http://treasurydirect.gov.

So what does that have to do with affirmative action obligations?  Well, if you are a bank or a credit union, you may have maintained an Affirmative Action plan based on the fact that you issue U.S. savings bonds, one of the criteria under Executive Order 11246.  The Executive Order identifies the criteria that subjects financial institutions to federal affirmative action requirements:

  • The institution is issuing and paying agents for U.S. savings bonds and notes in any amounts (no longer applicable after January 1, 2012)
  • The institution serves as a depository of government funds in any amount
  • The institution holds a prime or subcontract with the federal government of at least $50,000

So, if financial institutions are no longer issuing U.S. savings bonds, then are they relieved of their obligation to maintain an affirmative action plan?  Well, in plain language the answer is probably “no.”  The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) takes the position that financial institutions participating in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or National Credit Union Association (NCUA) programs are still subject to the agency’s jurisdiction.

As for next steps, financial institutions should review whether they must continue to prepare written affirmative action plans.  The OFCCP’s opinion is that financial institutions that serve as a depository of government funds in any amounts, participate in FDIC or NCUA programs, or hold a federal contract or subcontract of at least $50,000 should continue to prepare affirmative action plans even after Jan. 1, 2012.  You may want to consult your Legal Counsel to review your specific situation.

If you do need to complete an Affirmative Action Plan, you probably already know that implementation and maintenance of an affirmative action plan can be an administrative behemoth.  Let the consultants at HRN help!  We can create an affirmative action plan, tailored to your organization.  Contact us today for more information.

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