A new Labor Department directive aims to spur innovation in workplace diversity and inclusivity by highlighting companies and contractors who go above and beyond with their hiring practices.
The not-so-creatively-named directive DIR 2016-06, which comes from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) within the Labor Department, would offer recognition to “contractors with high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives.”
According to the OFCCP directive, the Labor Department would work to identify employers who not only provide equal employment opportunities, but who innovate in the field of diversity and lead the charge in reviewing and hiring applicants of all sorts, including veterans and civilians alike with disabilities.
Through outreach studies conducted in 2017 and 2018, as well as through general feedback, the Labor Department’s OFCCP concluded that not enough is being done on their office’s part to promote compliance and expand compliance reach.
The OFCCP believes such recognition programs could promote proactive, innovative compliance, even amongst those contractors who are not under evaluation. These programs may also encourage contractors to think outside of the box in tackling diversity issues and developing better hiring practices overall.
Most companies in the United States are required to comply with Federal regulations that ensure diversity in the workforce. Legislation like the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act are designed to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities while enhancing their employment opportunities.
Though despite the Labor Department’s best efforts to monitor for compliance, there’s only so much the government can do to ensure these standards are being met. As such, the OFCCP directive hopes to inspire companies to take matters of diversity into their own hands, rewarding those contractors who go above and beyond in the name of equality.
The Labor Department’s OFCCP directive does not specify what form this recognition might take or how or when it might be formally announced.
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