Chapter 2 – Equal Opportunity Policy Applied to Contractors
All contractors, including suppliers supplying goods or services to the institutions governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, regardless of where located or the form of contractual relationship, are expected to comply with the spirit of equal employment opportunity, as well as with the letter of all applicable statutes and regulations. Compliance shall require contractors not to discriminate and, in addition, to take affirmative action to ensure that members of minority groups are effectively afforded equal employment opportunities.
- In order to carry out the purposes of the policy, the Regents Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Office has been established at the Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa. The administration of the policy shall be the primary responsibility of the Regents Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Officer (hereinafter called the Compliance Officer) under the general supervision of the Executive Secretary of the Board.
- Since the purpose of the policy is to open up opportunity for and eliminate discrimination against members of minority groups, the emphasis in the administration of the policy shall be to encourage improvement by contractors in their employment practices, while at the same time requiring compliance, so as to effectively provide equal opportunities in employment for all persons.
- An interinstitutional Committee on Equal Opportunity (hereinafter called the Committee) has also been established for the purpose of advising and otherwise assisting the Compliance Officer in carrying out his or her responsibilities. The Committee is further charged with providing coordination between the Compliance Office and the institutions.
- Compliance shall be determined by a comprehensive review and evaluation of a contractor's employment policies and practices and shall depend on an analysis of all relevant factors, including the following:
- The contractor's publicly stated and posted policy regarding equal opportunity employment.
- The contractor's external dealings with unions, employment agencies, newspapers, and other sources of employees.
- The methods by which and places where the contractor seeks to recruit employees.
- The contractor's use of tests and qualifications for positions which are job related and not culturally biased.
- Classification and compensation plans which apply equally to all employees.
- Training programs which provide minority group members with an equal opportunity to qualify for employment and advancement.
- The contractor's active support of local and national community action programs.
- The effectiveness of the contractor's affirmative action program as evidenced, in part, by the number or percentage of minority group employees employed at all levels, taking into account the geographical location of the contractor's work force.
- The judgment regarding compliance shall be favorable if it is determined that the contractor is working affirmatively toward extending opportunities for minority group persons and is not discriminating against such persons. Contractors must be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Compliance Officer that their affirmative action program is productive.
- Contractors will be sent periodically an informative statement explaining the Regents equal employment opportunity policy. In the case of construction contracts, the statement constitutes part of the general conditions and bid specifications and compliance therewith is a condition of doing business with Regents institutions. It is the intention of the Regents to be fair and to avoid harassment and unnecessary red tape, but to be clear and firm about policy and expectations.
- Contractors are to submit periodic reports as requested by the Compliance Office on the basis of an impartial selection procedure, such as contracts over a fixed dollar amount, contractors with more than a fixed number of employees, contractors with employees present on the campus, random sampling, or a combination of such factors. The report forms shall be as brief as possible and designed to elicit relevant information about employment practices. The Compliance Office may request other relevant information from a contractor at any time.
- The Compliance Office will solicit and compile additional information about present and prospective contractors from any reliable source, including the Regents institutions, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and other state and federal agencies.
- The Compliance Office shall systematically review the reports and all other available information concerning the employment practices of present and prospective contractors. Whenever there is reasonable doubt, based on such reports and information, as to whether or not a contractor is discriminating or is failing to take affirmative action in compliance with the Regents policy, the Compliance Office shall undertake a compliance review of such contractor. Every reasonable effort shall be made to secure compliance through conciliation and persuasion. The burden shall be on the contractor to demonstrate that he or she is in compliance and thus eligible to do business with the Regents.
- The Compliance Office will receive written and signed complaints against a contractor from any person aggrieved by the contractor's alleged discrimination. The Compliance Office shall promptly notify the institution involved of a complaint. The burden shall be on the complainant to prove the truth of his or her allegations. Cognizance will also be taken of verbal complaints, newspaper reports, and any other legitimate source, and these will be followed up if investigation appears justified. Award of contracts will ordinarily be deferred while an investigation is pending, but executed contracts will not be suspended except in compelling situations.
- If an investigation or compliance evaluation discloses that there is reasonable cause to believe a contractor has discriminated or has failed to take affirmative action, the Compliance Officer may declare the contractor nonresponsible, unless he or she can otherwise affirmatively determine that the contractor is able to comply. The Compliance Officer shall issue a written notice to the contractor declaring him or her to be nonresponsible, and giving him or her thirty days to show cause why enforcement proceedings should not be instituted. During the thirty-day show cause period, every effort shall be made to effect compliance through the processes of conciliation, mediation, and persuasion.
- If the contractor fails to show good cause for his or her failure to comply or fails to remedy that failure, with the advice and consent of the Committee and the Executive Secretary of the Board, the Compliance Officer may issue a written notice of proposed cancellation or termination of the existing contract or subcontract and debarment from future contracts and subcontracts, giving the contractor ten days to request a hearing. If a request for hearing has not been received within ten days from such notice, such contractor will be declared ineligible for future contracts and current contracts will be terminated for default following the approval of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.
- Hearings shall be conducted by a hearing examiner appointed by the Executive Secretary of the Board from a panel of hearing examiners selected and approved by the Board. The hearing examiner shall submit his or her findings of fact and conclusions to the Compliance Officer and the Committee who shall make recommendations for final action to the Board of Regents.
- The Compliance Officer shall promptly notify the Board of Regents when such action is pending regarding the suspension, cancellation, or termination of existing contracts or subcontracts, and debarment from future contracts and subcontracts.
- An equal opportunity liaison officer shall be appointed by each institution to work cooperatively with the Compliance Officer and the Committee.
(See also IAC 7.2(262).)