The OFCCP has published a long-awaited Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) to assist educational institutions in understanding and complying with federal contractor equal employment and affirmative action requirements. Part of a larger effort to provide more (and more robust) help, this new TAG is worth checking out.
This is not the same old, dry, boring recitation of the regulations one might expect from a federal government agency. Rather, it is modern, bright, inviting, easy to use, and most of all—useful!
Educational institutions face several particular challenges to EEO/AA compliance unique from other types of federal contractors. As a result, guidance tailored to them specifically is needed and welcome. For example, the TAG does a good job of discussing IPEDS data and classifications and how that plays into things like AAP job grouping and calculating availability.
The TAG also rather brilliantly provides users with multiple avenues to the information they’re looking for through what can only be described as “side notes.” Rather than tightly-packed, small print footnotes at the bottom of every page, the OFCCP has included these side notes in line with the text to provide regulatory citations and references to more detailed information elsewhere in the document. For instance, when you’re first presented with a brief discussion about the Job Group Analysis on page 10, the side note lets you know that the more detailed discussion of that topic is coming up on page 14.
There is still a table of contents, and still plenty of footnotes, but the side notes help you find things faster, keep things in context, and prevent you from getting lost. The OFCCP is trying to make the information more accessible and using innovative design elements to do it.
The tone of the document is worth noting as well. Yes, this is content developed by a federal regulatory agency that has been vetted through legal, but the resulting material often feels like “real talk,” and attempts to provide meaningful guidance.
The OFCCP is also revamping their “old” construction TAG. We say “old” because the agency has actually taken down the current construction TAG from their website (you can view the “old” construction TAG here). The agency expects to publish the new construction TAG next week.