As part of their obligation to "evaluate compensation system(s) to determine whether there are gender-, race-, or ethnicity-based disparities" under Executive Order 11246, many contractors utilize multiple regression techniques to evaluate pay equity within their workforces. Such in-depth...more
The long-awaited, much anticipated new Directive on OFCCP's compensation analysis methodology has finally arrived … but for those contractors hoping for radical reform, the unfortunate news is there will be little change in the Agency's approach to compensation evaluations. For that...more
On August 24, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced three new directives in furtherance of its efforts to make the agency more transparent and efficient and to maximize the effectiveness of compliance assistance outreach. This article focuses on two of...more
The OFCCP has now released a total of seven (7) directives in 2018. With the intent of alleviating the gap between the agency's enforcement and the federal contractors' compliance obligations, the OFCCP held town hall and stakeholder meetings in the latter part of 2017 and in the first...more
In today's economy, "Help Wanted" signs are visible everywhere. Employers are eagerly searching to fill their vacancies as the unemployment rate reaches an all-time low. As a professional who has been in the human services field for more years than I care to reveal, it is inspiring and...more
Ask the Experts is an online forum where federal contractors and subcontractors are invited to submit questions to industry experts related to OFCCP compliance, affirmative action planning, and equal employment opportunity. Simply register your company on LocalJobNetwork.com to submit a question. Questions and answers will occasionally be featured in The OFCCP Digest for the benefit of all readers.
Question: EEOC Compliance for Applicants
We recently updated our Applicant Tracking System to require applicants to provide Race/Ethnicity and Gender information. We were wondering if you could share with us what information we are required to be collecting (or asking) from our applicants when they apply to jobs on our corporate website. In addition, when are we supposed to provide collected applicant data and to whom?
It depends on whether your company is a Federal contractor or not. To comply with the laws and regulations enforced by the OFCCP, the company must solicit race, ethnicity, sex, veterans status, and disability status during the application process if the company is a federal contractor or subcontractor. A company cannot require an applicant to provide this data. Annually, the company must submit a VETS 4212 report and the EEO-1 report.
VETS 4212 Report: VEVRAA requires Federal contractors and subcontractors covered by the Act's affirmative action provisions to report annually to the Secretary of Labor the number of employees in their workforces, by job category and hiring location, who are qualified covered veterans (38 U.S.C. 4212(d)). VEVRAA also requires Federal contractors and subcontractors to report the number of new hires during the reporting period who are qualified covered veterans. The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) has issued regulations found in 41 CFR part 61-300 to implement the reporting requirements under VEVRAA. The regulations in 41 CFR part 61-300 implement the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) amendments to the reporting requirements under VEVRAA and require the annual submission of the Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report VETS-4212 by all nonexempt Federal contractors and subcontractors with a contract or subcontract in the amount of $150,000 or more with any department or agency of the United States for the procurement of personal property or non-personal services.
EEO-1 Report: This report will collect data on the race, ethnicity, and sex of workers, by job category, from private employers with 100 employees or more and federal contractors with 50 employees or more and $50,000 in contract(s). Employers meeting the reporting thresholds have a legal obligation to provide the data; it is not voluntary. The data is collected using the reports below and is used for a variety of purposes including enforcement, self-assessment by employers, and research.
Each of the reports collect data about gender and race/ethnicity by some type of job grouping. This information is shared with other authorized federal agencies in order to avoid duplicate collection of data and reduce the burden placed on employers. Although the data is confidential, aggregated data is available to the public.
Federal contractors & subcontractors that meet certain thresholds are required to develop an affirmative action plan and ensure that other obligations are met.
OFCCP Makes CSAL Lists Public
In an unprecedented move, OFCCP made the list of establishments who were sent a Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) in FY 2017 and FY 2018 publicly available on the agency's website. The letters were sent to the Human Resources Director (or designated point of contact) at each establishment. Federal contractors and subcontractors who wish to know which of their establishments received a CSAL can look up their company on the OFCCP's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Library. A CSAL is a courtesy letter that is sent to a contractor giving them 45 days advance notice to prepare for a compliance audit. Following receipt of a CSAL, contractors can expect to receive a Scheduling Letter notifying them on an audit and will have 30 days to submit their AAP and the information requested for in the Itemized Listing. You can find more information in the OFCCP CSAL FAQ webpage.
OFCCP Issues Directive to Ensure Compliance Audit Transparency
In their continued goal to improve relations with contractors, OFCCP released Directive 2018-08: Transparency in OFCCP Compliance Activities. This directive sets forth expectations at each stage in the compliance audit. Additionally, it lays out responsibilities, policies, and procedures for contractors and OFCCP throughout the process. OFCCP also provided a model on-site letter that contractors would receive when an on-site review is requested.
OFCCP Introduces Ombud Service
Directive 2018-09: OFCCP Ombud Service, OFCCP's latest directive, is a proposal to create an Ombud Service within the national office to address and assist in the resolution of concerns brought about by "OFCCP external stakeholders." The ombudsman could act like an intermediary between the external stakeholder and OFCCP to "facilitate the fair and equitable resolution" to a problem. The term "external stakeholder" includes federal contractors and subcontractors, industry groups, and law firms, among other related groups.
DOL Creates an Office of Compliance Initiatives
The newly-formed Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI) will offer support and guidance for the enforcement agencies within the Department of Labor (DOL), including OFCCP and federal compliance (website under construction). The OCI will focus on innovative strategies for compliance assistance, encourage a positive culture of enforcement within the DOL, and provide high-quality information to the agencies and employers regarding obligations and rights under labor laws and regulations.
750 New Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters Sent
OFCCP mailed 750 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL) to federal contractor establishments on September 7, 2018, supplementing the official FY2018 Scheduling List released on March 19 this year. Additionally, OFCCP published the methodology for the latest round of CSALs. These CSALs are courtesy notices sent by OFCCP 45 days before it sends out a Scheduling Letter to the establishments on the scheduling list notifying them of a compliance audit. This latest CSAL includes 445 companies and multiple establishments from some organizations.
DOL to Hold Listening Sessions on the "Overtime Rule"
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is seeking public opinion on Part 541 (white collar exemption regulations), regularly cited as the "Overtime Rule." This regulation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) refers to exemptions from overtime pay for certain employees, including administrative staff and executives. There will be five listening sessions throughout September as the DOL seeks to update the Overtime Rule, potentially based on thoughts and ideas from participants in the sessions. You must register online to attend any of the free listening sessions.
OFCCP Issues Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative
OFCCP has introduced Directive 2018-07, Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative, to apply a new process to verify that "all federal contractors are meeting the most basic equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulatory requirements." The main focus of this directive is to ensure contractors are preparing written affirmative action programs (AAPs) and annual updates. As part of the initiative, OFCCP will undertake an education campaign and develop technology to help contractors comply.
OFCCP to Embark on Contractor Recognition Program
In an effort to acknowledge "high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives" run by contractors, OFCCP issued Directive 2018-06. The Contractor Recognition Program includes awards for model practices, contractor mentoring to help improve industry compliance, and other activities to collaborate with OFCCP efforts.
OFCCP Releases New Compensation Directive
The new directive, Analysis of Contractor Compensation Practices During a Compliance Evaluation (DIR 2018-05), explains the standard procedures OFCCP will follow when contractor compensation practices are examined during compliance reviews. The directive also explains more specifically how OFCCP will manage its compensation evaluations through pay groups, statistical modeling, and other evidence. This new directive now takes the place of Directive 307 (DIR 2013-03). Find more information on OFCCP's FAQ page on this subject.
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are the opinions of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Local JobNetwork™. The information appearing in this newsletter is meant to provide the reader with a general understanding of topics relating to OFCCP compliance requirements and is not legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice to address OFCCP compliance issues or requirements, you should consult an attorney. The Local JobNetwork™ expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this newsletter.