Yes, they do. But we don’t mean the background checks the OFCCP conducts when hiring new compliance officers. We mean the OFCCP performs checks on companies they audit, beginning from the moment a scheduling letter .
When that scheduling letter goes out, OFCCP compliance officers (COs) are expected to contact the EEOC, state and local Fair Employment Practices agencies, and the appropriate Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) representative, to gather both complaint information and “…any other information that may be pertinent to assessing the contractor’s EEO posture,” according to section 2B05(a) of the Federal Contracts Compliance Manual (FCCM). They look for patterns in the types of complaints, “particularly ones that might indicate potential systemic discrimination problems.” (2B09(b)–the emphasis is mine)
I always find it very interesting when two words hinting at vague possibility are used together in a sentence. There be life on Mars. Not, “There might be life on Mars,” or, “There is potential life on Mars.” However, I believe there is validity to what the COs are doing, even if they be biased to find patterns given that directive. Regardless, if a company has any skeletons at all in the closet, they open the story the COs will finish with their audit. In fact, it’s so important to the process, that if the agencies contacted do not respond within 15 days, the CO will conduct a telephone follow-up. (2B05(a))
The COs’ contact with these agencies does not end with the pre-audit exchange. They continually cross-check complaints with areas of negative impact they have identified. They arrange to receive and review case files from these agencies if they so desire. And lastly, “Upon receipt of the AAP… any information provided by the contractor with respect to current or past complaints should be compared to the information received from the agencies. Discrepancies…should be noted by the [CO] for particular attention during the review.” (2B09(d))
What does this mean for you? A) Be aware that complaints and actions from another agency will not only affect your OFCCP audit, but may even mutually support negative outcomes. B) Take immediate corrective action when a complaint comes in from any source. C) Do not put “spin” on your account of complaints to the agency inquiring after them. That agency will compare notes to the agency which logged the complaint. And finally: D) If you have complaints against you and receive a scheduling letter, don’t just sit on the complaints. There may be ways to reduce their effects on an auditing CO’s impressions.
You may find the full text of FCCM 2B05, 2B08, and 2B09 here.
If you have any questions about the OFCCP’s pre-audit background checks, please contact Ahmed at 800-708-3655.