Instructions for Contractors: Affirmative Action Requirements
Download the complete Instructions for Contractors: Affirmative Action Requirements (DOA-3021P) (PDF)
General Contract Compliance Requirement
As required by Wisconsin's Contract Compliance Law (s. 16.765, Wis. Stat.), every contractor contracting with the state of Wisconsin must agree to equal employment and affirmative action policies and practices in its employment programs.
Compliance Law Poster Requirement
Additionally, contracts estimated to be over fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) require the contractor to post in conspicuous places, available for employees and applicants for employment, notices provided by the contracting state agency that set forth the provisions of the state of Wisconsin nondiscrimination clause.
Affirmative Action Plan Requirement
An affirmative action plan is required from a contractor who receives a state contract over $50,000 AND who has a work force of 50 or more employees as of the award date, unless the contractor is exempt by established criteria. The plan is due to the contracting agency within fifteen (15) working days of the award date of the state contract. The plan must have been prepared or revised not more than one year prior to the award date of the contract.
Universities, other states and local governments, except those of the State of Wisconsin who receive state contracts of over $50,000, must submit affirmative action plans in the same manner as the contractors.
Affirmative Action Plan Review
After the contractor submits its affirmative action plan to the contracting state agency, that agency reviews the plan for compliance with Wisconsin Statute and Administrative Code.
- If the affirmative action plan is acceptable, the contractor is deemed eligible and receives a written notice from the contracting state agency. The contractor should note that there are certain benefits to being eligible.
- If the affirmative action plan is unacceptable, the contractor is deemed ineligible and receives a written notice of the plan's deficiencies from the contracting state agency. The contractor then has thirty working days in which to amend the plan. The contractor should note that there are certain consequences if the contractor fails to comply with the affirmative action requirements.
Exemption from Submitting an Affirmative Action Plan
Download the Contractor Request Form for Exemption from Submitting an Affirmative Action Plan (Word 6.0)
Criteria for Exemption from Submitting Affirmative Action Plan
An affirmative action plan is NOT required when:
1. The contractor receives a state contract for less than $50,000.
2. The contractor has less than fifty (50) employees regardless of the amount of the contract.
3. The contractor is a foreign company with a work force of less than fifty (50) employees in the United
4. The contractor is a federal government agency or a Wisconsin municipality.
5. The contractor has a balanced work force.
Procedures for Exemption
If exempt from submitting an affirmative action plan, the contractor must submit evidence of exemption as follows:
- If the contractor is exempt from submitting an affirmative action plan based on criteria 2 through 4 above, the contractor must still submit a Request for Exemption from Submitting an Affirmative Action Plan (DOA-3024A) (Word) (PDF File) as well as a Contractor's Subcontractor List.
- If the contractor is exempt from submitting an affirmative action plan because it has a balanced work force (criteria 5 from above) the contractor must still submit a Contractor Work Force Analysis, the Request for Exemption from Submitting an Affirmative Action Plan (DOA-3024A) (Word 6.0), supporting labor market information, a Contractor's Subcontractor List and a copy of its Equal Opportunity Policy Statement. See the preparation instructions for assistance.
If a rare situation exists for an emergency or to meet special contracting requirements, the Department of Administration, based on the recommendation of a contracting state agency, may exempt a contractor from affirmative action plan requirements.
Alternative to Submitting an Affirmative Action Plan
If the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC) has audited the contractor's affirmative action program within the last year, the contractor may send the contracting state agency:
- A copy of OFCC's acceptance/compliance letter;
- The contractor's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement;
- The Contractor's Subcontractor List.
Affirmative Action Plan Preparation
An affirmative action plan must have been prepared or revised within the last year prior to the contract award date and must include the following five sections:
- Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement
- Work Force Analysis
- Affirmative Action Goals
- Plan Dissemination
- Internal Monitoring
Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy Statement
Download the Instructions for Contractors, which contains a sample Policy Statement (PDF)
The necessary parts of an acceptable policy statement are:
- Identification of the vendor by name;
- Commitment to equal opportunity in employment programs for any applicant for employment or any employee by not basing employment decisions on age, race, religion, color, handicap, sex, physical condition, developmental disability, sexual orientation or national origin;
- Commitment to affirmative action policies and practices in employment programs to achieve a balanced work force;
- A statement that identifies employment programs to include at least employment, promotion, demotion, transfer, recruitment, compensation, selection for training, including apprenticeships, layoff and termination;
- Designation of an employee of a vendor with his/her name and title as equal employment opportunity/affirmative action officer;
- Provision for holding supervisors and managers accountable for affirmative action initiatives to balance their respective work forces; and
- commitment to abide by s.16.765, Wis. Stat., state regulations and federal laws pertaining to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action during the life of a contract with the State of Wisconsin.
Additionally, this equal employment opportunity/affirmative action policy statement must be:
- Signed by the vendor's chief executive officer;
- Written on the vendor's letterhead stationery;
- Dated; and
- Available for review by employees and applicants for employment.
Work Force Analysis
Download the Work Force Analysis Form (Word 6.0)
General: The vendor must submit a work force analysis as a part of its affirmative action plan or with its request for exemption from submitting an affirmative action plan if the vendor is requesting an exemption based on having achieved a balanced work force. The vendor must complete and submit the Work Force Analysis Form (DOA-3022) (Word 6.0) or a copy of its federal EEO-1 Form. The vendor may define its own job categories/groups. However, the Contract Compliance Program reserves the right to reject the vendor's job categories/groups.
For each job category/group, the vendor must report:
- Total number of employees;
- Number and percent of males;
- Number and percent of females;
- Number and percent of minorities; and
- Number and percent of persons with disabilities.
Minorities and persons with disabilities are included also in the number and percentage for males and females. The percentage of minorities and persons with disabilities represent their part of the total number of employees.
This data must be current within one year of the award date of the state contract.
If the vendor has submitted a work force analysis previously, the vendor must provide the date of the most recently submitted report and recap the total number of males, females, minorities and persons with disabilities last reported.
Signatures: The analysis must be signed by the preparer of the information.
After completing the data, the vendor needs to assess its work force to determine whether an equitable representation of qualified individuals with disabilities, minorities and women are employees which approximates the percentage of individuals with disabilities, minorities and women available from the relevant work force.
Remedies for any inequity must be presented in the vendor's affirmative action goals. A vendor must make every reasonable effort to develop a balanced work force.
Affirmative Action Goals
These goals are directed to achieving a balanced work force. The nature of these goals is contingent upon the nature of any underrepresentations of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in any of the job categories/groups of the vendor's work force. Each goal must:
- Be specific;
- Have an implementation target date of between six months and two years; and
- Have a plan of action or description of procedure to implement the goal.
Sample of Goals that a vendor may include in its affirmative action plan are:
- Developing a company employee affirmative action committee to advise the chief executive officer on affirmative action issues.
- Reviewing job descriptions to ensure that they reflect actual job duties with reasonable work-related requirements for employment.
- Restructuring jobs, where possible, to encourage appointing trainees.
- Broadening recruitment notices to include community organizations likely to refer women, minorities and individuals with disabilities.
- Advertising position vacancies in minority media.
- Developing interview teams for all positions using only job-related questions.
- Implementing an exit interview program or an employee assistance program.
- Developing work schedules where feasible which include part-time employment opportunities to encourage the employment of persons for whom full-time employment is difficult.
- Identifying an informal equal employment opportunity complaint resolution procedure.
- Identifying other means to strengthen its recruitment and retention of women, minorities and individuals with disabilities.
- Conducting onsite training on affirmative action issues and initiatives.
- Committing to recruit and appoint women, minorities and individuals with disabilities for vacancies in the same percentages as they are available in the labor market when the vendor has turnover or a need to expand its work force.
Note: A vendor may use its own goals or use one or more of these suggested goals.
Affirmative Action Plan Dissemination
The vendor must give broad dissemination of its affirmative action plan to current and prospective employees as well as to others with whom the vendor does business. The affirmative action plan must provide that:
- Equal opportunity and affirmative action issues frequently appear on the agendas of executive and staff meetings. The plan must specify the frequency of these meetings and with whom they occur.
- All solicitations or advertisements for employment must include a statement compareable to "an equal employment opportunity employer functioning under an affirmative action plan." The contractor should provide at least one copy of an advertisement for employment, or, if one is unavailable, state why.
- All employees must have access to the affirmative action plan for review. The plan must specify the procedure for employes who wish to review the plan.
- Any complaints regarding the affirmative action plan may be filed with the State Equal Rights Office or with the Contract Compliance Program.
Note: The vendor must retain a copy of its affirmative action plan, including the forms submitted with it, for purposes of satisfying the plan dissemination requirements.
The vendor must identify a method or system for an internal monitoring of the affirmative action plan to regularly evaluate results achieved by the plan. The affirmative action plan must:
- Specify the frequency of reviews, the individual(s) performing the reviews and the consequences of the reviews.
- Hold supervisory and management personnel responsible , at least through performance appraisals and compensation reviews, for implementing affirmative action initiatives within their areas of responsibility.
Note: The vendor must retain a copy of its affirmative action plan, including the forms submitted with it, for purposes of satisfying the internal monitoring requirements.
Contractor Use of Subcontractors
Download the Contractor's Subcontractor List (Word 6.0)
The contractor must provide the contracting state agency with the Contractor's Subcontractor List (DOA-3023) (Word 6.0) within fifteen (15) working days of the award date of the contract to identify any subcontractor or to specify that none exists. If the contractor changes its subcontractors or decides to subcontract at a later date, the contractor must revise and submit its subcontractor list at the time of altering its subcontracting.
Note: that these subcontracting conditions pertain only to affirmative action requirements. Also, a state contract usually requires that a contractor obtain prior approval to subcontract from the contracting state agency.
The contractor is required to notify any subcontractor to comply with the State of Wisconsin's affirmative action requirements in the same manner as the contractor.
If the contractor subcontracts, the contractor must:
- Require in each subcontract that the provisions for nondiscrimination and affirmative action in employment practices apply to the subcontractor on the same basis as they apply to the contractor; and
- Give a copy of Wisconsin's contract compliance law to each subcontractor to post in a conspicuous place.
Copies are available from the contracting state agency.
For a subcontract of over $50,000, the contractor also must obtain one of the following and forward it to the contracting state agency:
- An affirmative action plan from the subcontractor;
- A copy of its OFCC acceptance/compliance letter dated within the last year and its affirmative action policy statement.
If a subcontractor's affirmative action plan is not acceptable, then the contracting state agency will contact the subcontractor and provide technical assistance.
Records and documents not made available to the public. The State of Wisconsin's open meetings/records law (s. 19.21, Wis. Stat.) permits confidentiality to a very limited number of documents. For example, records which constitute a trade secret may be restrained as confidential. Usually, affirmative action plan required by the State of Wisconsin are not considered confidential documents. Should a contractor believe that part or all of its affirmative action plan is confidential, the contractor must identify clearly to the contracting state agency those pages or sections which it believes contain confidential information. This identification of any confidential information must be given both:
- In a letter to the contracting state agency; and
- On each page that the contractor states contains confidential information.
If a contractor asserts that all or part of its affirmative action plan is confidential, the contractor is responsible for defending its confidentiality under Wisconsin Statutes. The contractor must agree in writing, in advance, to hold the State of Wisconsin harmless and if a challenge occurs, to provide for any necessary defense of the confidentiality of the contractor's records.