Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services

With over 20 years in the human resource industry, Michele is an expert in HR practices and procedures. As Senior Manager of Client Services at Berkshire Associates, Michele is responsible for overseeing, developing, and implementing training related to affirmative action and human resources management. Michele is involved in every aspect of Berkshire’s consulting services; ensuring clients receive the support they need to meet their unique goals.
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Recent Posts

What a Year! Analyze Your Progress towards Pay Equity and Make Plans for 2020

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on January 6 2020

The pay equity movement made big headlines in 2019 thanks to several high profile pay discrimination cases, EEO-1 Component 2 pay data collection, and significant activity at the state level to enact pay equity legislation. However, gender pay gap surveys reported that in 2019 women are still earning 79 cents for every dollar that men make. To see the gender pay gap and pay equity law in your state(s), excellent interactive resources are made available by The American Association of University Women (AAUW). AAUW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission “to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy” with a vision for “equity for all.”

Additional Information Now Available for EEO-1 Component 2 Filing

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on July 2 2019

Employers with questions concerning collection of 2017 and 2018 EEO-1 Component 2 compensation data are finally getting some answers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago have published a series of Frequently Asked Questions on topics ranging from the filing deadline, to how employers should report compensation and hours worked, to confidentiality of the data. Examples have been included to provide additional clarity. 

WANTO Grants Help to Expand Pathways for Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on July 26 2018

On July 17, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau announced that grants ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 would be awarded to as many as six recipients under the WANTO grant program. Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (“WANTO”) is a technical assistance grant program available to eligible Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) who apply as a single applicant or as part of a consortium of CBOs. The purpose of the program is to encourage employers and labor unions to employ women in industries where women have traditionally been underrepresented, or concentrated in lower-paying jobs, such as manufacturing or IT, by:

Google and DOL Continue Battle Over Access to Broad Employee Pay Data

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on June 7 2017

It’s too expensive to prove there is no gender pay gap. This is Google’s argument following their refusal to turn over compensation data to the U.S. Department of Labor, highlighted on social media and various publications following a recent hearing before a DOL administrative law judge (ALJ). However, there’s another argument not receiving nearly as much buzz—Google has a constitutional right to raise a lawful defense against a request that, in its opinion, is unreasonable and goes beyond the scope of the DOL’s investigation.

Five Ways to Manage Your Pay Equity Compliance

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on April 11 2016

The topic of a wage gap between genders is hotter than ever, and both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) continue to make regulatory strides with respect to pay equity for women and minorities. Here are five tips to help plan your strategy for pay equity compliance:

Compensation Compliance: The Importance of Salary Equity Analysis

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on September 9 2015

Salary equity, or inequity, continues to be a focal point of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) compliance evaluations. As you may know, annual self-review of compensation is mandatory under affirmative action regulations. And while there is no prescribed method of review required, statistical analyses are an industry standard—as well as the approach the agency itself is utilizing regularly.

The Top Five Features of an Effective Applicant Tracking System for 2015

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on December 8 2014

The season is upon us where we begin reflecting on the year behind us and making our resolutions for the year ahead—not just personally but professionally too. For those of us responsible for affirmative action compliance, we will reflect back on 2014 as a year of significant regulatory change that forced us to take a hard look at our outreach and recruitment processes and programs. And now we look forward to 2015 as a year where all of our outreach and recruitment processes should be in compliance. One thing that’s a must is having an effective applicant tracking system (ATS). If adding or replacing an ATS is on your list of resolutions, here are the top five features to look for in 2015:

Data Collection and Applicant Tracking in 2015

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on October 21 2014

Earlier this year, Berkshire offered two approaches to collecting new regulatory data requirements for Protected Veterans (PV) and Individuals with Disabilities (IWD): proactive versus deferred. Federal contractors with an affirmative action plan (AAP) date prior to March 24, 2014, were not required to begin collecting additional information from applicants or employees with respect to Veteran or disability status until their next AAP year. Under a “proactive” approach, contractors would begin putting systems in place to collect data prior to their next plan date. If you are a contractor who deferred data collection to the 2015 plan year, here’s a quick recap of data collection requirements in 2015.

How to REACH Affirmative Action Compliance with Your Recruiters

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on August 11 2014

At SHRM’s Talent Management Conference this year, I had the opportunity to speak to over 100 individuals about the latest OFCCP regulatory changes for Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities during my “It’s a LOVE Connection— Why OFCCP Thinks Recruitment and Compliance Make the Perfect Pair” presentation. Conference goers and I discussed how to remain compliant given the new requirements...and what adjustments need to be made to follow the latest directives.

As the discussion progressed, and information exchanged, HR professionals in the room discovered their challenges were not unique to their own. Struggling to keep their company compliant...often with with limited resources and buy-in from others...were fairly common issues.

Weekly Recruitment Tip: Recruiting Individuals with Disabilities

Posted by Michele Hester, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior Manager, Client Services on June 5 2014

Many of my clients have asked me about effective ways for recruiting Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs). One resource I always share is the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN), or www.askearn.org. Here you’ll find recruitment and hiring information regarding recruitment planning, sourcing, assessing candidates, hiring, and orientation. Federal contractors will also find several valuable resources here, including: