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Federal Contracts or Subcontracts

This page provides details on the legal aspects of Equal Employment Opportunity as they relate to employers holding Federal contracts or subcontracts.

Applicants to and employees of most private employers, state and local governments, educational institutions, employment agencies and labor organizations are protected under Federal law from discrimination on the following bases:

Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits job discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and requires affirmative action to ensure equality of opportunity in all aspects of employment.

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, protects qualified individuals from discrimination on the basis of disability in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment. Disability discrimination includes not making reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or employee, barring undue hardship. Section 503 also requires that Federal contractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities at all levels of employment, including the executive level.

The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212, prohibits job discrimination and requires affirmative action to employ and advance in employment disabled veterans, recently separated veterans (within three years of discharge or release from active duty), other protected veterans (veterans who served during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized), and Armed Forces service medal veterans (veterans who, while on active duty, participated in a U.S. military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded).

Retaliation is prohibited against a person who files a complaint of discrimination, participates in an OFCCP proceeding, or otherwise opposes discrimination under these Federal laws.

Any person who believes a contractor has violated its nondiscrimination or affirmative action obligations under the authorities above should immediately contact:

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

(800) 397-6251 (toll-free) or (202) 693-1337 (TTY)

OFCCP may also be contacted by email at, or by calling an OFCCP regional or district office, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, Department of Labor.

To request this page or any information referenced on the page in an alternative format, please email Equal Opportunity.

EEOC 9/02 and OFCCP 8/08 Versions Usable With 11/09 Supplement
EEOC-P/E-1 (Revised 11/09)