OFCCP Issues National Interest Exemption for Coronavirus Relief Contracts

COVID-19 Update

Date: March 19, 2020

On March 17, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a National Interest Exemption for certain employers who enter into government contracts to provide relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the exemption, federal agencies will use modified versions of the traditional equal employment opportunity clauses for any contracts entered into specifically to provide COVID-19 relief.

Any employer who enters into a supply and service government contract that contains the modified clauses and is specifically related to COVID-19 relief efforts will not be required to develop the affirmative action programs required by Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). Covered employers are also exempted from the OFCCP’s traditional posting and “tag-line” requirements, do not need to list job openings with state employment delivery systems, are not subject to on-site OFCCP compliance evaluations, and do not need to file EEO-1 reports if they have fewer than 100 employees. However, employers are still required to maintain the records required by EO 11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA, and they generally may not discriminate against any protected classes of applicants or employees. In addition, the affirmative action and equal opportunity requirements in an employer’s other covered government contracts or subcontracts will continue to apply in their entirety.

The National Interest Exemption applies to any COVID-19 relief contracts entered into through June 17, 2020, and is subject to an extension at the OFCCP’s discretion. The OFCCP has published a list of FAQs regarding the National Interest Exemption.  


For additional information regarding the OFCCP’s National Interest Exemption, as well as affirmative action obligations for government contractors, please contact:

Tom Mason

Matthew R. Kissling

or any member of Thompson Hine’s Government Contracts or Labor & Employment group.

Additional Resources

We have assembled a firmwide multidisciplinary task force to address clients’ business and legal concerns and needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see our COVID-19 Task Force page for additional information and resources.

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