Internet Applicant Rule

By | February 6, 2006

On October 7, 2005, the OFCCP published its long awaited final rule on Federal Contractor’s Obligations to solicit race and gender data from job applicants (commonly referred to as the Internet Applicant Rule). The new rule was effective February 6, 2006.


  • expanded the definition of “Internet Applicant” to also apply to traditional paper expressions of interest if a “contractor considers expressions of interest made through the Internet or related electronic data technologies in the recruiting or selection process for that particular position,” and
  • revised its record retention regulations regarding internet expressions of interest.

The new regulations:

  • include a four part definition of an “Internet Applicant;”
  • close the gap, but do not eliminate the existence of two types of applicants;
  • address a contractor’s obligations to solicit race, ethnicity, and gender from applicants;
  • specify contractor’s record keeping requirements;
  • specify how applicant data will be analyzed in an adverse impact analysis; and
  • should result in a careful review, and in many cases revisions of applicant tracking systems and procedures.

The OFCCP amended 41 CFR 60-1.3 to add a definition of “Internet Applicant.”  An individual who meets all of the following four criteria meets the definition of an “Internet Applicant:”

  • the individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  • the contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position;
  • the individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
  • individual at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removes himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position.FAQs regarding the Internet Applicant Regulations are available on the OFCCP’s website.  The final rule and preface published in the Federal Register is available on the GPO Access website.