OFCCP Announces New Ombudsman - Releases Contractor Compliance Portal

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on August 16 2019

Implementing two items under the pillar of Transparency, the OFCCP has announced the placement of an Ombudsman and released a Compliance Portal.

OFCCP has announced a new Ombudsman, Marcus Stergio. Director Leen issued a Directive establishing this position in September 2018, and the Ombudsman will serve as a liaison between contractors and the agency. His office will ensure that OFCCP is acting according to the agency’s legal authorities, policies, and procedures while also improving effectiveness of internal OFCCP operations. Marcus holds a Masters degree in conflict resolution and has worked as an administrator of the dispute resolution process for multi-national organizations.

OFCCP Releases Compliance Assistance Guides

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on August 7 2019

OFCCP recently released a new webpage aimed at providing compliance assistance documents to contractors. This page was developed as a result of the OFCCP town hall meetings and includes an OFCCP overview brochure, which introduces the agency and its enforcement approach to contractors. There is a “what to expect” document, which outlines items the agency expects from contractors as well as the rights contractors have when interfacing with the agency in a compliance review or investigation.

FAQs on Practical Significance

Posted by Kelly Andrews, PHR, SHRM-CP on July 31 2019

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently released newly established FAQs defining practical significance. This calculation relates to analyzing personnel activity and employment opportunity decisions during a specified time period. The agency has identified practical significance as an additional consideration in discrimination cases based on statistical evidence.

OFCCP Releases FAQs Regarding Student Workers

Posted by Michiko Clark, Associate HR Consultant on July 30 2019

In a recent series of FAQs regarding student workers, the OFCCP answered the question of if students should be included in the Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs). The FAQs also provided guidance regarding who is considered a student worker.

OFCCP Issues Second Opinion Letter on Pay Analysis Groups

Posted by Rachel Rubino, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on July 26 2019

Earlier this week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued an opinion letter that serves as Director Leen’s first attempt at directly addressing the use of Pay Analysis Groupings (PAGs) in audits. This is the agency’s second opinion letter since a November 2018 directive that committed to providing guidance to federal contractors through these opinion letters.

Specifically, this letter reviews the question of whether contractors can work directly with the agency to establish a PAG structure that would be deemed acceptable prior to an OFCCP audit. Director Leen writes that contractors can submit their PAG structure to the agency for review and feedback, to be considered in future audits. However, he also writes that the agency cannot “conclusively agree” that it will use any predetermined PAGs in future compliance reviews as the factors affecting that workforce and its compensation might have changed since review of the PAGs. OFCCP analyzes compensation data based on the systems and structures that were in place during the period under review, so that information would take precedence over any previously reviewed or “approved” PAGs.

Breaking News - Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Resigns

Posted by Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services, Berkshire on July 12 2019

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced his resignation after receiving unwanted attention regarding his 2008 treatment of the case against Jeffrey Epstein, when Acosta was a US attorney in Southern Florida. 

How to Include Remote or Teleworker Employees in AAPs

Posted by Cindy Karrow, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior HR Consultant on July 12 2019

Many companies have wrestled with the issue of which AAP(s) should include employees who work from home, at client sites, or other at non-traditional sites. OFCCP recently issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions to answer some of these questions and can be found on the OFCCP website.

New Award Announced to Recognize Best Employment Practices for Individuals with Disabilities

Posted by Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services, Berkshire on July 11 2019

The OFCCP is accepting applications for a new award program for federal contractors. The Excellence in Disability Inclusion Award is a joint effort by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

OFCCP Revises Proposed Changes to Scheduling Letters

Posted by Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, VP, Client Services, Berkshire on July 4 2019

After the first round of comments, OFCCP recently published revisions to proposed updates to the scheduling letters, opening another 30-day comment period before any revisions will be finalized.  OFCCP originally proposed changes to the scheduling letters in April with comments received through June 11. The revisions incorporate changes made as a result of comments to the initial proposals, several coming from Berkshire Associates. Comments from the public for these versions are due by July 29.

Should You Ask? Requesting Self-ID Beyond Male or Female

Posted by Lauren Buerger, SHRM-SCP, HR Consultant, Berkshire on June 27 2019

As we wrap up June and Pride Month, here is a somewhat relevant question we have been getting in some form more and more frequently: “Are we allowed to ask employees and applicants to identify beyond just the male or female genders?”