Federal law requires certain employers who perform work on contracts and subcontracts with the United States government to maintain affirmative action plans. The rules for when affirmative action programs are required are different for construction and non-construction contractors. Here’s what employers need to know about when federal affirmative action requirements apply:

Construction Contractors: A construction contractor or subcontractor is required to maintain an affirmative action program if it holds any “Federal or federally assisted construction contract in excess of $10,000.” 41 C.F.R. § 60.4-1(a).

Non-construction Contractors: A non-construction contractor or subcontractor must an maintain affirmative action program if: (1) it has 50 or more employees; and (2) either (i) has a contract or subcontract with the government of $50,000 or more; (ii) has government bills of lading which in any 12-month period total or can reasonably be expected to total $50,000 or more; (iii) serves as a depository of government funds in any amount; or (iv) is a financial institution which is an issuing and paying agent for U.S. savings bonds and savings notes in any amount. 41 C.F.R. § 60-2.1(a).

Takeaway: Employers who do business with the federal government may be required to maintain affirmative action programs depending on the type of work they do and how much revenue is generated by the work performed. State laws may also impose similar requirements.