Just in time for Halloween, OFCCP has been busy with what some may think are scary activities. Contractors with locations on the latest CSAL list are beginning to receive the initial phone calls to schedule their compliance reviews. The scheduling letters were said to start being mailed out on October 22, 2018.
It is almost time for the decennial census. While this survey of the American population is no longer used specifically in Affirmative Action Plans, some area of controversy surrounding the Census may make their way into the requirements for federal contractors—or at least for employers as the workforce continues to become more diverse. While this post discusses possible changes, it’s important to note nothing is final as of this writing, as at least six lawsuits are currently challenging the 2020 census form.
September 26 Update: OFCCP has relased an updated verison of the list that corrects the city and state issue. No word on if this update resets the 45 day notice provided when the letters were first mailed on September 7. Contractors are encouraged to review the revised list to determine if any locations are on it, however, it does not appear any new locations are included.
In the latest demonstration of agency commitment to transparency, OFCCP made the 2017 and 2018 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) lists public this week. Contractors should review the lists to determine which of their facilities will be audited by OFCCP in the coming months.
Amidst a flurry of recent activity, OFCCP added a new section to their website that provides access to several resources for federal contractors and federal agency contracting officials. This is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to provide transparency and enhance affirmative action compliance assistance available to contractors, and includes the following:
While the VETS-4212 deadline is looming at the end of this month, several clients are looking forward to 2019. Many are wondering if the community should prepare for changes to the EEO-1 report. As far as we can predict, there will be no change to the report—that is, it will be based on employer data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and due on March 31, 2019. The EEOC has not signaled that the compensation section—approved in September 2016 and placed on hold in August 2017—will be included in the 2018 filing. Clients looking to consolidate EEO-1, VETS-4212, and AAP reporting requirements are advised to select a plan date of January 1 or complete update plans for their July 1 plans. The AAP and EEO-1 data can be generated by the time the EEO-1 report is due at the end of March, and the same data can be filed for the VETS-4212 reports due in September.
Several new pieces of guidance came out during and following the NILG conference held earlier this month. A few notable directives include the Contractors “bill of rights” and the directive about focused reviews in fiscal year 2019. Berkshire clients should also note the recent directive issued addressing OFCCP’s new plans to address religious organizations under its jurisdiction.
Last week, the EEOC issued a study of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which implemented in June 1968. The ADEA was among the latter pieces of legislation addressing civil rights for employees in the 1960s.
The EEOC finds the ADEA has eliminated overt age discrimination, however, it remains common—described as an “open secret”—across industries and geographic regions of the US. The report takes aim at false assumptions about older workers, particularly regarding the diversity, education, and work ethic of the older generation.
In an interesting development, a Federal judge in Texas has challenged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) background policy that specifically indicates that a blanket background check policy is too broad. Additionally, the federal judge ruled that employers do not need to follow the EEOC's guidance since it was not issued under rulemaking procedures that allow for public review and comment. In a interesting twist, the federal judge has demonstrated support for the guidance while also granting partial summary judgment in a case that challenges the legitimacy of that guidance.
As previously reported, the Census Bureau was considering adding a new race category of Middle Eastern or North African to the 2020 census form. Currently, individuals with ethnic origins in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa are classified as White in the census data. Recently, the Bureau announced that after collecting public input on adding a new race, it has decided to keep the existing two-question format and will report on the Office of Management and Budget’s existing five race categories (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White), on the 2020 form. Respondents will have the ability to designate more than one race group.
As previously reported, the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) has released details about a new program designed to recognize employers with a strong track record in hiring and retaining Veterans.