This Is Auburn Affirmative Action/
Equal Employment Opportunity

AA/EEO FAQs About Employment

Q -   Why do we have to keep a copy of all employment advertisements we place?  Does that include web postings?

A - You have to keep copies of employment advertisements, INCLUDING A PRINTED COPY OF WEB POSTINGS/ANNOUNCEMENTS, because Federal regulation requires it.  They require contractors (that’s us!) to retain records at least two years.  At AU, we require they be retained for three years.

Excerpted from DOL’s FAQ section for Employers:

“With regard to recordkeeping responsibilities, OFCCP regulations require that federal contractors maintain for a period of two years from the making of the record or the personnel action, all job postings and advertisements, applications received, any interview notes, test and test results, records of job offers, and the applications themselves. Contractors with fewer than 150 employees or a contract of less than $150,000 need only keep these records for a period of one year. See 41 CFR 60-1.12(a). In addition, OFCCP regulations and the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP) obligate covered federal contractors to compile and maintain applicant data in order to ensure that the selection process used during hiring does not result in discrimination against a particular protected group. See 41 CFR 60-1.12, 41 CFR 60-3.4, and 60-3.15. Accordingly, a contractor must be able to identify the race, gender, and ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) status of all applicants. Self-identification is the most reliable method and the preferred method for compiling such information about an individual. Contractors are encouraged to use tear-off sheets, post cards, or short forms to request demographic information from applicants that can be maintained separate and apart from the applications themselves.”

Q - Why does AA/EEO have to review/approve the wording of ads?

A - We’re protecting you by checking for potential inadvertent discriminatory wording, and ensuring that required language is included.  That’s why you shouldn’t edit out or change advertising language after our review.

41 CFR 60-1.4 - Equal opportunity clause [excerpted from DOL website]

 “During the performance of this contract, the contractor agrees as follows:  
...    (2) The contractor will, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the contractor, state that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment 
without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”

Q - Why does the AA/EEO office call liaisons after the Form D and B have been completed and ask us “What race did so and so appear to be?”  Doesn’t that contradict the principle of allowing applicants to voluntarily self-identify their race?

A - Good question!  As a Federal contractor, AU is responsible for soliciting race and gender data for all applicant pools. (We use “Form C cards” or the online equivalent.) Federal regulations say that self-identification is the preferred method of gathering this information; however, they allow employers to use “visual identification” for applicants who did not self-identify, but who were seen in person. 

So when we see that an applicant was interviewed but did not return a Form C card, we will ask someone who met the person to make a visual identification of race.  If the interviewer or receptionist who met the candidate is not comfortable identifying the race of an interviewed candidate, they can say so.  The AA/EEO Office is simply attempting to gather as much required information as possible.


“What is the correct procedure for a contractor to obtain the ethnic information of its employees and applicants?

OFCCP regulations 41 CFR 60-1.12(c) indicate that for any personnel or employment record a contractor maintains, it must be able to identify the gender, race, and ethnicity of each employee and, where possible, the gender, race and ethnicity of each applicant.

OFCCP has not mandated a particular method of collecting the information. Self-identification is the most reliable method and preferred method for compiling information about a person's gender, race and ethnicity. Contractors are strongly encouraged to rely on employee self-identification to obtain this information. Visual observation is an acceptable method for identifying demographic data, although it may not be reliable in every instance. If self-identification is not feasible, post-employment records or visual observation may be used to obtain this information. Contractors should not guess or assume the gender, race or ethnicity of an applicant or employee.”

“May an employer override an individual's self-identification of race, gender or ethnicity based on the employer's visual observation?

No. OFCCP's policy is that deference should be given to an individual's self-identification and it should not be questioned or overridden by an employer based on the employer's visual observation.”

Last Updated: May 08, 2020