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Monday, January 26, 2015

Tips for Labor Compliance on HUD Projects: Part 3

Welcome to my final installment of HUD labor compliance tips. Part 1 provided an overview, and suggestions on complying with federal prevailing wages. Part 2 dealt with integration of requirements into contracts. Part 3 will focus on Equal Employment Opportunity and Section 3 requirements. Relevant regulations include Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development of 1968, 24 CFR Part 135, Executive Orders 11246, 11375, 12086, and 41 CFR Part 60 1.4(b).

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) 
These requirements are often called MBE/WBE (Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises). The purpose of these requirements is to involve minority and women owned businesses in contracts to the maximum extent possible. Grantees and general contractors must demonstrate that they have implemented policies and procedures to meet this goal. It isn't enough to say you tried. You must document efforts, and this post will help you understand how this can be done.

Section 3
These requirements generally apply to any contract funded by HUD that is $100,000 or greater. The purpose of these requirements is to involve local low-income persons in contracts to the maximum extent possible. Similar to EEO requirements, grantees and general contractors must demonstrate that they have taken steps to meet this goal.

EEO and Section 3 compliance has three elements: recruitment, documentation and contract management. Below is a summary of each.

  • Prepare a EEO/Section 3 Plan and send it to the General Contractor. It should consist of hiring goals and resources, including contact info for: the local government, developer, and HUD labor representatives; local unions and trade associations; local community organizations and media for affirmative recruitment; and in-house or local apprenticeship and trainee programs for referral.
  • Send letters to the local labor representative and local unions and trade associations requesting feedback on the EEO/Section 3 Plan.
  • Post a project sign at the project site, place notices in community papers, and send letters to community organizations and businesses identified by local government with the following information: Section 3 regulations; contact information for employment opportunities; and the list of apprenticeship and training programs from the EEO/Section 3 Plan.
  • Maintain a file documenting all EEO/Section 3 implementation efforts.
  • Maintain a list of all lower income residents, women and minority owned businesses that have applied for a job, and referral sources.
  • Provide an annual report on EEO/Section 3 progress to the HUD Administrator.
Contract Management
  • Notify potential subcontractors of EEO/Section 3 goals and requirements.
  • Incorporate EEO/Section 3 requirements and goals into all subcontracts.
Be aware that some local or State governments will add their own requirements on top of the base federal requirements. Feel free to contact me if you need assistance with putting together plans and templates. 

So go out there and have a blast with HUD labor compliance.....which really isn't possible. But at least you can move forward with confidence and a plan.

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