OFCCP's TAG, Part 5: Recordkeeping Requirements

In this installment of our blog series regarding the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) Technical Assistance Guide (TAG) for supply and service contractors and subcontractors, we are reviewing OFCCP’s recordkeeping requirements.  Federal contractors and subcontractors have an obligation under the affirmative action regulations to retain personnel records.  Even when using a third-party firm to conduct employment activities such as recruitment, it is still the federal contractor’s or subcontractor’s responsibility to ensure that personnel records are being kept.

Read previous installments of the TAG series:

Information That Must Be Maintained

Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to maintain and preserve records on both applicants and employees. These records include documents related to the following personnel activities:

  • Hiring
  • Promotion
  • Demotion
  • Transfer
  • Layoff
  • Termination
  • Compensation
  • Training and apprenticeship

Employers must also keep information about the selection process including job postings, job advertisements, applications, resumes, tests, test results, and job interview notes. An extensive list of examples of records that must be kept on all forms of personnel activity including the selection process is found in Appendix L of the TAG.

There are special actions that must be taken regarding certain types of records. For example, the TAG specifically states that records containing information on a physical examination or a request for reasonable accommodation must be kept separate from an individual’s personnel file.

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

In the section of the TAG on OFCCP’s recordkeeping requirements, the TAG indicates that federal contractors and subcontractors must be able to identify the race, ethnicity, and gender of each employee in all personnel records.  Employers must also be able to identify the race, ethnicity, and gender of applicants “where possible.”  

OFCCP has not changed its regulations to mirror the categories for race and ethnicity found in the EEO-1 Report.  These regulations show Hispanic as a race, combine Asians and Pacific Islanders, and do not recognize “two or more races” as a separate race/ethnicity category. Despite not changing the race and ethnicity categories to match what EEOC is using, OFCCP will not cite federal contractors or subcontractors for using the categories found in the EEO-1 Report.

Format for Maintaining Records and Length of Record Retention

Federal contractors and subcontractors are allowed to keep personnel records in either paper or electronic form. Employers may convert paper records into electronic records. However, they must ensure that their electronic systems can accurately reproduce the paper copy, as it serves as a duplicate or a substitute copy of the original paper record. During an OFCCP compliance review, employers must make their records available for inspection and copying upon request.  

The length of time that federal contractors and subcontractors are required to preserve employment and personnel records depends on two factors: the number of employees the employer has and the dollar amount of the employer’s federal contracts or subcontracts.  Federal contractors and subcontractors who have more than 150 employees and a contract or subcontract of at least $150,000 are required to maintain employment and personnel records for at least two years. Employers that do not meet these criteria must keep records for a minimum of one year. The retention of a personnel record starts from the time the record is created or a personnel action occurs, whichever is later.

Certain records must be kept for three years when an employer is covered by Section 503 or VEVRAA. These recordkeeping requirements will be discussed in a future blog post.

Next in this Series…

Be on the lookout for our next post in this series, where we focus on the requirements regarding the collection of demographic information from applicants and employees using an invitation to self-identify.

Sally Makreff

Stay up-to-date with DCI Alerts, sign up here:

Advice, articles, and the news you need, delivered right to your inbox.


Stay in the Know!