Federal Contractor Requirements

Federal contractor affirmative action and related requirements

You have a responsibility to meet additional obligations as a Federal contractor.

In addition to your nondiscrimination requirements as a Federal contractor or subcontractor, you may also have the responsibility to take proactive “affirmative action” steps to ensure equal employment opportunity by institutionalizing your commitment to equality in all aspects of the employment process. Whether or not your business is covered by these requirements depends on the type and dollar value of the Federal contract(s) or subcontract(s) you have, as well as the number of people you employ. You must develop an Affirmative Action Program (AAP) if you have 50 or more employees and at least one contract of $50,000 or more, under Executive Order 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. You must also have an AAP under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) if you have 50 or more employees and at least one contract of $150,000 or more. 


Please note that, as detailed below, construction contractors have different affirmative action requirements. 

We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your responsibilities as an employer. Many questions about your responsibilities may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

For additional assistance, please contact:

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP): 1-800-397-6251 or the OFCCP Help Desk

Our assistance is free and confidential.

Non-Construction Contract Requirements

Non-construction or “supply and service” contractors or subcontractors must develop written Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs), depending on whether your business meets the above thresholds for one or more of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) laws. 


When you’re subject to the affirmative action requirements above, you also have administrative and reporting requirements under each of the respective laws. These requirements include: 

  • maintaining additional personnel and employment records;
  • inviting applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify race and gender, and, when applicable, disability and veteran status; and
  • reporting data on the demographic breakdown of applicants and employees.
Construction Contract Requirements

There are two types of construction contracts over which OFCCP has jurisdiction: direct Federal construction contracts and Federally assisted construction contracts. Under Executive Order 11246, neither type is required to develop a written AAP, regardless of contract value or number of employees. However, if you have Federal or Federally assisted construction contracts or subcontracts of $10,000 or more, the regulations require you to follow 16 affirmative action steps. These steps are designed to ensure that you provide equal employment opportunity as to outreach and recruitment; hiring, training, promotions, and other employment advancement opportunities; a harassment-free work environment; and that you evaluate your personnel practices and policies at least annually to identify and address barriers to equal employment opportunity. 


Additionally, while the AAP requirements under Section 503 and VEVRAA don’t apply to Federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, they do apply to direct Federal construction contractors and subcontractors. If you hold direct Federal construction contracts or subcontracts and meet the appropriate thresholds as detailed above, you would need to develop AAPs under one or both of those programs.

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The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under federal employment laws.