Executive Order 11246 is the cornerstone of federal affirmative action regulations. Enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP),

OFCCP’s website summarizes the law:

The Executive Order prohibits federal contractors and federally-assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Executive Order also requires Government contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that equal opportunity is provided in all aspects of their employment.

Additionally,  E.O. 11246 requires federal contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in federal contracts to develop written affirmative action plans for women and minorities.  This includes two major pieces: a written narrative and quantitative analysis.  Federal contractors who are required to comply with this law must also follow strict applicant tracking requirements and monitor their employment decisions and practices for potential discrimination.  Covered employers must also monitor their compensation systems to ensure they are non-discriminatory.