Get ready to have a legitimate business-related reason to increase your screen time! On February 22, 2019, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced by email bulletin that the agency will post the next round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters online...more
The last five years have been a time of monumental change for the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Five major regulatory changes to the federal affirmative action regulations went into effect between 2014 and 2016, and 13 new...more
As we discussed in the introductory article in this series, OFCCP has argued that certain of the Supreme Court's pattern or practice holdings in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338 (2011), do not apply because the Agency is arguably not subject to the Rule 23 requirement of...more
This article is prompted by two recent questions received on LocalJobNetwork's "Ask the Experts" online forum. Space there doesn't permit the sort of information that this rather complicated issue demands, hence this article which will address a number of important questions other readers...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: Posting Days
Our university currently requires all postings to be open for a minimum of five days to the general public. We are considering extending the number of days to match other universities who range anywhere from 5 to 21 days. As an affirmative action contractor, we see the benefit of extended days as: more time for applicants to compose a thoughtful application; allows time to feed to job boards; and gives job seekers at least one weekend to review, gives hiring teams the time to review the diversity of the pool. However, we have gotten immense push back from our stakeholders. Do you have any thoughts on whether opening the posting longer does support a better recruitment? It doesn't appear OFCCP has made an official statement on posting days. Do you have any advice, resources or content that we could use to support our position?
Excellent question. Providing more days for posting provides the best opportunity for reaching diverse candidates. It sometimes takes several days for a job announcement to reach a constituent group, so organizations need as much lead time as possible to reach potential candidates. Extending the time also allows you, the federal contractor, to assess whether the applicant pool is diverse enough to go forward with the next step in the selection process. More time may be needed to reach additional potential sources for qualified diverse candidates.
Financial and Legal Industries the Focus of Upcoming OFCCP Town Halls
OFCCP will be hosting a pair of town halls in New York City in April 2019. On April 9th, the meeting will focus on the financial industry. Then the attention turns to the legal industry on April 10th. Tickets are available on OFCCP’s website and open to the public; however, they are first come, first served and limited to two per organization. Like the recent town hall meetings for the tech industry, these events are aimed to give contractors detailed updates on regulations and allow them to offer opinions on how OFCCP can aid contractors in compliance.
Section 503 Focused Reviews Landing Page Launched
OFCCP has created a new landing page dedicated to Section 503 Focused Reviews. The section is filled with valuable and practical information to ensure contractors have suitable assistance in implementing programs and practices that will increase the employment of individuals with disabilities. The Section 503 landing page includes details on what to expect in a focused review, insight on best practices for disability inclusion, and a variety of other facts, data, and contact information.
DOL Formally Proposes an Update to the Overtime Rule
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the salary threshold for employees who must be paid overtime if working more than 40 hours per week. Under the proposed rule, the salary threshold will be increased from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $679 per week ($35,308 annually), making more than one million more Americans eligible. The proposal intends to keep the job duties test as is and does not include automatic annual adjustments to the salary threshold. People are encouraged to comment about the proposed rule electronically at www.regulations.gov in the rulemaking docket RIN 1235-AA20.
Director Leen Announces Best Practices for Section 503 Focused Reviews
In a recent town hall meeting, OFCCP Director Craig Leen discussed a number of items related to the upcoming Section 503 focused reviews, noting that OFCCP included 500 contractors’ headquarters on its courtesy scheduling announcement list to be published in March. In speaking about a greater need for inclusion for individuals with disabilities, Leen laid out some best practices for Section 503 compliance, including:
Provide accessible online recruiting tools
Develop partnerships with state and local rehabilitation agencies
Ensure reasonable accommodation standards are uniform across the organization
Design a clear and welcoming self-identification process
Display leadership's full support and encouragement for disability inclusion
Provide disability inclusion programs and employee resources groups (ERGs)
OFCCP Issues a New Directive to Create VERP
With Directive 2019-04, OFCCP unveiled a new Voluntary Enterprise-wide Review Program (VERP), to provide “an alternative to OFCCP’s establishment-based compliance evaluations with a focus on recognizing contractors that have comprehensive, corporate-wide inclusion and compliance programs.” There will be two tiers recognized in the program. The top tier is for top-performing contractors whose diversity and inclusion programs are examples for others to follow. They will receive a five-year exemption from audits. The second tier is for compliant contractors, who will receive individualized compliance assistance to become top performers, and will receive a three-year exemption. OFCCP will begin accepting applications in fiscal year 2020 and offer more details in the future.
In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, a commemorative month designated by Congress in 1987 as a way to honor the contributions and achievements by women in American history and in the workforce. This March the White House released a Presidential Proclamation to honor women, stating "...we express our gratitude for all American women who continue to strengthen our families, communities, and workforce. Our future is brighter because of their contributions." Find even more information on the impact of women in America on the Women's History Month website.
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are the opinions of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of LocalJobNetwork™. 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. LocalJobNetwork™ expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this newsletter.