Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Civil Rights

Ensuring equal opportunity for all businesses and personnel on our projects

Equal opportunity and workforce programs

Annual compliance reviews


Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Civil Rights conducts annual compliance reviews to ensure contractors and subcontractors performing on highway construction contracts are meeting Equal Employment Opportunity requirements pertaining to projects and core business operations.

Authorized by state and federal law, annual compliance reviews take place throughout the year on projects throughout the state.


Federal regulations declare that priority for annual compliance reviews should be given to contractors meeting any or all of the following criteria:

  • Hold a high potential for employment and promotion of people of color and women;
  • Work in areas with significant people of color and female workforces located within a reasonable recruitment area;
  • Undertake projects with special training provisions; or
  • Have been in noncompliance or were otherwise uncooperative with equal opportunity requirements in the past.

An annual compliance review does not suggest that a contractor has committed any wrongdoing or is otherwise under investigation.


A Contract Compliance Specialist within MnDOT OCR conducts the annual compliance reviews, which begin with sending a Notification of Compliance Review letter to the contractor. The Federal Highway Administration, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and/or Tribal Governments may elect to participate in the process.

Annual compliance reviews consist of a desk audit and on-site visit, which may occur separately.

Desk audit

The desk audit is the first step of an annual compliance review. The Specialist reviews the contractor’s workforce information to uncover deficiencies and identify recommendations.

Deficiencies are violations of the Code of Federal Regulations, Form FHWA-1273, or any other applicable provisions of state or federal law. Recommendations are actions the contractor can – and should – take to improve EEO performance. 

The Notification of Compliance Review letter outlines the information the contractor must provide to the Specialist for the desk audit. The contractor must provide additional information upon request.

On-site visit

The on-site visit is the second step of an annual compliance review. Here, the Specialist performs two specific tasks:

  • Meets virtually or in person with company officials to ask questions about the submitted information; and
  • Conducts project site interviews with prime and subcontractor employees to understand the working conditions on the project.

Interviews with company officials

The Specialist reviews workforce information, makes additional inquiries and identifies areas for improvement during an interview with the contractor’s EEO officer and/or staff member authorized to make personnel decisions. At the end of the meeting, in the exit conference, the Specialist shares findings of the desk audit, including deficiencies, voluntary corrective measures, and recommendations.

The interview process typically requires two hours and occurs virtually or in person at the contractor’s office or project site.

Project site interviews

MnDOT field staff, local agency representatives and/or consultants coordinate the project site interviews, at which the Specialist interviews employees of the prime and/or subcontractor regarding project working conditions.

The project site interviews occur on a date convenient for the MnDOT Project Engineer or MnDOT Inspector, who accompanies the Specialist on the interviews to minimize interference and maximize worksite safety. The contractor does not participate in the project site interviews.

Post-annual compliance review

The Specialist is required to send the Notice of Voluntary Corrective Action Plan (VCAP) to the contractor within 15 calendar days of completion of the interview with company officials. This document outlines deficiencies shared with the contractor during the exit conference, timeframes for executing the necessary voluntary corrective measures and possible recommendations.

The Contractor is required to discuss concerns with the Contract Compliance Specialist during the exit conference. However, if issues remain regarding the deficiencies and/or voluntary corrective measures outlined in the VCAP, the contractor may contact the Contract Compliance Supervisor.    

Failure to correct deficiencies or implement corrective measures by their respective due dates will result in the project contract being placed in noncompliance. Being in noncompliance leads to the imposition of sanctions, including withholding of payment or the issuance of a show cause notice. If a contractor fails to comply, MnDOT OCR can recommend that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights revoke their workforce certificate.

Legal authority

MnDOT has made every effort to include all applicable statutes, laws, regulations and other presiding authorities; however, erroneous citations and omissions do not imply there are no applicable legal citations or other presiding authorities. MnDOT OCR program information is not legal advice.