Following President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a National Interest Exemption memorandum to facilitate response efforts for COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus.

In view of the special circumstances in the national interest presented by the novel coronavirus outbreak, OFCCP will grant a limited, three-month exemption and waiver from some of the requirements of the laws administered by the agency. OFCCP regulations authorize the OFCCP Director to exempt contracts from requiring the inclusion of any part of the equal opportunity clause in any specific contract when special circumstances in the national interest so require, when it is impracticable to act upon requests for exemptions individually, and where such waiver will contribute to convenience in the administration of the authorities enforced by OFCCP. This exemption and waiver extends to all affirmative action obligations of supply and service and construction contracts, and other obligations under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. The exemption and waiver do not apply to the processing of complaints of discrimination under 41 CFR 60-1.21-1.24, 41 CFR 60-300.61, and 41 CFR 60-741.61. The exemption and waiver also do not exempt a covered contractor from their obligation to comply with other federal, state and local civil rights laws. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or click here.

“Following President Trump’s direction, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is committed to swiftly responding to COVID-19,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen. “Today’s memorandum helps federal agencies and federal contractors engaged in relief efforts to protect the safety, security and health of the American people.”

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