“Am I being compensated fairly?” and “I haven’t had a review in three years” are just some conversations that may be floating around organizations regularly between employees. These topics of conversation could spell trouble in an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audit for Human Resources departments. OFCCP audits today could probe individual compensation differences on a case by case basis by analyzing pay differences by job title for one contractor and salary grade or Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) job group for another. From a risk management perspective, the general argument for internal pay equity is a rational one: to avoid legal action and lawsuits stemming from unfair compensation discrimination claims. It is critical for contractors to establish an internal pay equity structure and if appropriate, to communicate such structure and processes to employees. From there, contractors should review pay annually, and investigate unexplained differences in pay. If a stated contributing factor to pay, decisions should tie back to overall performance, as well as additional factors like years of experience and degree.
On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed an appeal with the Administrative Review Board (ARB), officially challenging a recent decision denying the agency access to some of the documents it sought as part of its highly-publicized review of the compensation practices at Google Inc.’s headquarters location.
The recent Administrative Law decision between the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Google alleging denial of access sparked an interesting discussion about the “establishment” that was selected for review. Contractors with large campus headquarters, or multiple establishments near each other similar to Google, may want to consider the alternative Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) structures suggested in the decision.
On July 14, 2017, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Steven Berlin issued a recommended administrative decision in the publicity-generating case between Google and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). For those who have been following along, you know OFCCP sued Google in early January for access to additional employee pay data and employee contact information for more than 20,000 employees as part of a routine compliance review of Google’s headquarters.
On February 17, 2017, 800 corporate scheduling announcement letters (CSALs) were mailed to federal contractors throughout the United States. This left many contractors asking, “why us?” There are a few ways a contractor can be selected for a compliance review, including, but not limited to, individual or class complaint investigations and directed reviews initiated by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) National Office. Directed reviews are based on reports of an alleged violation, pre–award evaluations in response to requests for pre–award clearance from federal contracting officers, and the monitoring of conciliation agreements and consent decrees. Most establishments make the “list” through the OFCCP’s Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS).
If you are a federal contractor or subcontractor in the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin, you will want to watch your mailbox for a letter from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) to schedule an audit. It appears that OFCCP’s Midwest regional offices are actively scheduling more reviews than any other Regional OFCCP office.
KPMG, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, has agreed to pay $420,000 to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination at its Short Hills, NJ location. The firm entered a conciliation agreement with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) as a result of an investigation that started in 2011.
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.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into a conciliation agreement with Aramark Uniform Services to settle allegations of hiring discrimination against male applicants and placement discrimination, or steering, against female hires, both for production positions in the contractor’s Evansville, IN facility. Aramark is a provider of uniform services and supplies, and the Evansville, IN location provides both uniform rentals and uniform services.
In May 2017, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) entered into a conciliation agreement with Guntersville, AL protective clothing supplier Kappler, Inc., to settle allegations of steering within its hiring process. The agreement alleges that between December 2012 and December 2014, Kappler, Inc. failed to consider female applicants for Cutter and Floor Worker positions, while placing only female applicants in Sewer positions.