Obama-Era Blacklisting Rules Meet Their Official Demise

Posted by Lynn A. Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs on March 28 2017

As expected, President Trump signed the Congressional Review Act resolution invalidating the FAR Council regulations implementing President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, often called the “blacklisting” executive order. President Trump also issued an executive order officially revoking Executive Order 13673 and instructing federal agencies to “promptly” rescind any regulations or guidances issued under it. The president’s actions effectively terminate implementation of these controversial rules. 

EEOC Pilots Online Charge Intake System

Posted by Kelly Andrews, PHR, SHRM-CP, on March 24 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced it is piloting a new online inquiry and appointment processing system in five of its field offices. Effective immediately, individuals can submit online inquiries and schedule requests for intake interviews using an online system in EEOC’s offices located in Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; Phoenix, Arizona; and Seattle, Washington. EEOC Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic stated, “ We encourage people to provide candid feedback as they use the system, so we can make sure it works well for the public and for the agency.”

OFCCP Resolves Hiring Discrimination Claims Against Compass Group USA, Inc.

Posted by Rachel Rubino, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on March 24 2017

Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) recently entered into a conciliation agreement with Compass Group USA to settle allegations that the foodservice and support services company discriminated against African American applicants for Service Worker positions at its Mobile, AL facility. The agency alleges the contractor’s selection process had an adverse impact on the hiring of African Americans in the Service Worker position, and African Americans were also held to a stricter standard than White applicants. The conciliation agreement states OFCCP made this determination using a logistic regression taking into account preferred qualifications, such as high school or GED and related experience.

OFCCP Reaches Pay Discrimination Settlement with Another Federal Contractor

Posted by Rachel Rubino, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on March 23 2017

In March 2017 the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) entered into a conciliation agreement with Land O’ Lakes to settle allegations of compensation discrimination against female Livestock Production Specialists that arose from a compliance evaluation initiated in May 2009. These positions are responsible for selling feed and related products, and OFCCP alleges that the disparity in pay was caused by discriminatory duty assignments, sales incentive pay programs, and pay increases that negatively affected females.

Recorded Webinar: Closing the Gap: Strategies for Managing Pay Equity

Posted by Carla Pittman, Senior Manager, Berkshire Associates on March 17 2017

Whether it’s OFCCP or EEOC enforcement efforts, or other internal or external pressures, companies today need sound practices to prevent pay-related issues in the workplace. This webinar offers guidance on the analysis of compensation data and tips on how to employ best practices in fair pay. Berkshire’s pay equity expert, Michele Whitehead also discusses steps companies can take to correct inequities. 

President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Labor Department Budget by 21%

Posted by Lynn A. Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs on March 17 2017

President Trump released his 2018 budget blueprint on March 16. The budget includes significant funding increases for defense spending, with the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs receiving budget boosts. Noting the “need to rebuild the Nation’s military without increasing the deficit,” most other agencies, including the Department of Labor, face budget reductions.

OFCCP Quietly Resolves Hiring Discrimination Claims Against Total Minorities

Posted by Rachel Rubino, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on March 16 2017

In February 2017 Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) entered into a conciliation agreement with Oil States Skagit SMATCO, LLC to settle allegations of discrimination against minority applicants for mechanic positions at the offshore equipment and service provider’s Houma, LA location. Specifically, OFCCP’s analysis found adverse impact against minority applicants for the company’s Mechanic I job title during the timeframe of August 2011 through April 2013. OFCCP also maintained that Oil States Skagit SMATCO, LLC did not maintain all handwritten notes created by hiring managers during the interview process, which is part of the contractor’s affirmative action obligations. The conciliation agreement also detailed violations of failing to set a placement goal, and not listing job openings with the state workforce agency of local employment service delivery system.

Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Labor Nominee Postponed Until March 22

Posted by Lynn A. Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs on March 15 2017

Confirmation hearings for President Trump’s second Secretary of Labor nominee, Alexander Acosta, were delayed until March 22 at 9 a.m. The delay is due to scheduling conflict of Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions’ (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), and not because of any concerns about Acosta’s nomination.

Supreme Court Remands Transgender Student Case to Lower Court

Posted by Tricia Estacio on March 10 2017

The court case involving Gavin Grimm, a transgender student from Virginia, was sent back to a lower court by the Supreme Court on Monday, March 6, 2017. The focal point of this case is whether schools must allow students to use the bathroom that fits a student’s gender identity.

International Women’s Day 2017 - Go Beyond Compliance

Posted by Carla Pittman, Senior Manager, Berkshire Associates on March 8 2017

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Since the early 1900’s, every year, International Women’s Day calls on individuals, governments, and companies to “be bold for change,” and forge a better working world by closing the gender gap. This day marks a call to action to close disparities in hiring, pay, promotions, and in executive leadership.

As a consulting firm that supports companies' efforts in equal employment opportunity, Berkshire would be remiss not to mention the importance of Executive Order 11246, and the laws that seek to advance gender parity in the workplace.