Affirmative Action Compliance


Michael Best’s dedicated Affirmative Action team provides government contractors with a unique combination of legal and consulting services to guide them through the complex and seemingly ever-changing world of federal, state, and local affirmative action regulations and agency practices.

By providing practical, strategic advice on Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) data collection, program design, and implementation, we allow our clients to focus on what matters most to them – attracting, hiring and retaining the most qualified people to best serve their customers.


Using Michael Best’s AAP team provides a number of advantages, including:

  • Years of legal experience solving affirmative problems for clients, including under both Bush Administrations as well as the Clinton and Obama Administrations;
  • Consultants who become intimately familiar with the data underlying AAPs allowing for creative, tailored solutions to thorny data collection, retention, and reporting issues;
  • A combination of both attorney and non-attorney professionals, allowing for recognition of where attorney-client privilege is desirable and increasing the chances that it will be recognized, in a cost-effective manner;
  • Internal communication across practice areas which provides deep institutional knowledge of clients, company culture, and industry environment, as well as strong relationships with key client personnel in human resources and management;
  • Proactive advice on adjusting AAPs when clients are expanding and/or contracting their workforces and guidance in preparing for the AAP implications of acquisitions; and
  • A multidisciplinary approaching, including collaborating with the firm’s immigration attorneys to devise recruiting strategies to assist clients in meeting their company objectives and with transactional attorneys in evaluating EEO and AAP compliance in acquisition due diligence.

We have experience with the full life-cycle of AAPs and assist clients at such critical junctures as:

  • Determining if the company is a federal, state, or local contractor or subcontractor, and what requirements apply based on the dollar amount of government business;
  • Working with small companies to design and implement initial compliance systems; with larger, long-standing contractors to adjust current systems to address new requirements or acquisitions; and with multinational employers to devise nationwide strategies for dealing with OFCCP across regions; and
  • Negotiating with OFCCP at all levels – district, region, and national – to achieve the best results for the clients we serve.

We provide clients the following services:

  • AAP design at the federal, state, and local levels using existing HRIS systems;
  • Design implementation processes and strategies, including applicant tracking, paid sick leave, internal audit, and training;
  • AAP review, including of those prepared internally and by other consultants;
  • Rapid deployment of resources to represent – both behind the scenes and as the primary contact – all types of compliance reviews, including those conducted off-site, on-site, and at corporate management, including developing audit themes and strategies; and
  • Negotiating conciliation agreements and preparation of compliance reports.

While Michael Best’s AAP team has experience representing clients across industries, we have particular experience working with clients in:

  • Aerospace
  • Education/education consulting
  • Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Telecom


Higher Education

We assisted a higher education client in a compliance review of its complex compensation structure and the broad job groups developed by a past consultant. We were able to define more appropriate pay analysis groups and discrete recruiting/hiring pools, successfully resolving inquires on adverse impact and pay disparities.


When a manufacturing client’s sales team called human resources in a panic for the first time providing the text of a contract clause on local affirmative action requirements and invoices on which payment was delayed, we quickly modified the client’s federal AAP to fit the local jurisdiction’s requirements, allowing for invoice payments to be processed.


We successfully resolved six compliance reviews in 24 months for a telecom client. We worked with the client’s human resources team to create a strategy for complying with regulatory requirements concerning employee placement into 20+ AAPs, including reviewing the data within a 30-day submission window to resolve errors that were contributing to apparent adverse impact. We additionally provided explanations for initial impact results, identified and prepared for likely audit questions, and reframed auditor questions related to compensation to appropriate comparators.

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