Under a new Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") directive, effective June 14, 2011, federal contractors and subcontractors may once again use Functional Affirmative Action Programs ("FAAPs") following a 2010 suspension by the Department of Labor ("DOL") of this practice.  Under federal law, each covered nonconstruction contractor must develop and maintain an Affirmative Action Plan ("AAP").  Some mutli-establishment contractors have large business or functional units, such as research and development units, which span across the United States or in various regions.  Under FAAPs, the functional or business units may establish an AAP to assure OFCCP compliance.

The new directive also outlines certain FAAP requirements, including that the OFCCP Director must approve an agreement to develop and operate under a FAAP.  Moreover, to be considered suitable for a FAAP, the functional or business unit must: (1) currently exist and operate autonomously; (2) include at least 50 employees; (3) have its own managing official; and (4) have the ability to track and maintain its own personnel activity.  To access the full DOL announcement, please visit: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir296.htm.