At a town hall for the financial industry this week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that it would soon be releasing a proposal regarding a new affirmative action plan (AAP) verification program.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) held two town hall sessions in New York City this week, focused on the financial and legal industries. The town halls followed the format of earlier sessions, with attendees being asked to provide feedback about several topics, including the agency’s current enforcement practices and ideas for how the OFCCP could help contractors promote diversity in hiring, fairness in promotions and disability inclusion.
Continuing its torrent of recent activity aimed at increasing federal contractor voluntary compliance with affirmative action obligations, the OFCCP announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG). In making the announcement, OFCCP stated, “At OFCCP we have learned that, before we can achieve broader compliance success, first we need to up the level of trust, communication, and education we provide to contractors.”
OFCCP recently announced it will soon begin asking all federal contractors and subcontractors to verify they are preparing a written annual affirmative action plan (AAP) through an annual certification program within 30 days of receiving an official scheduling letter. This request is a part of the Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative Directive–Directive 2018-07.
Fastenal has entered into a conciliation agreement with the OFCCP to settle allegations of hiring discrimination at its Denton, Texas facility. According to the conciliation agreement, OFCCP alleges that between November 6, 2012 – November 6, 2014, Fastenal discriminated against female, Black, and Hispanic applicants in the hiring process for its 8B Part-Time Laborer Job Group. The Conciliation Agreement notes the total adjusted shortfall, accounting for race/ethnicity and gender, is 55. To resolve these claims, Fastenal has agreed to pay $250,000 and to hire at least 55 eligible class members (36 females, 17 Blacks, and seven Hispanics) within the next 24 months, unless it exhausts the list of eligible class members prior to this date.
Humana Inc. has entered into a conciliation agreement with the OFCCP to settle allegations of pay discrimination against women professionals at its Louisville, Kentucky corporate facility. According to the conciliation agreement, OFCCP alleges that during a period of at least January 2011 through December 2012, Humana paid women employed in the Applications Consultant, Consultant, Manager, and Project Manager roles less in base salary than similarly-situated men in the same roles. Settlement payments ranging from approximately $2,000 to $6,000 will be paid to up to 753 women in the class.
The Trump Administration released its FY 2019 budget proposal on February 12, unveiling further budget cuts for the Department of Labor (DOL) while including support for administration priorities like apprenticeship programs and employer compliance. Under the budget proposal, DOL’s funding would be reduced by $2.6 billion to about $9.4 billion. However, a late-issued addendum stated $1.5 billion would be added back to the DOL’s proposed budget for workforce development and training programs due to the bipartisan budget deal reached by Congress. Although the administration’s budget is merely a proposal and is rarely enacted as proposed, the budget justification provides some interesting insight into DOL’s priorities for the next few years.
Updated on February 15, 2018:
OFCCP has updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the recently-issued Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL) to indicate that contractor’s requests for extensions for submitting AAPs will be closely scrutinized and not routinely granted. The agency takes the position that contractors are receiving 45 days’ notice with the initial CSAL, and have an additional 30 days to submit the plan when the scheduling letter is received. Berkshire recommends that contractors take steps now to ensure locations on the advance notice list are prepared for an OFCCP audit in 2018. The full text of the OFCCP’s FAQs is available here.