On March 31, 2011, OIRA wrapped up its review of OFCCP’s proposed rule, titled “Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors; Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results under the VEVRAA of 1974, as amended.” OIRA has been reviewing this proposed rule change since July 2, 2010. Once these accepted rule changes are published they will impact many federal contractors. As stated by Director of OFCCP, Patricia Shiu in an April 5, 2010 web chat, “Be proactive by evaluating your workforce by gender, race, national origin, religion, ethnicity, disability and veteran status; examine who is being hired, promoted, and terminated; look closely at wages for similarly situated jobs; and develop a culture where equal opportunity and diversity is valued.” Director Shiu’s comments last year were directly related to the strategic plan OFCCP has put in place to govern through 2016. There are two critical goals the agency will focus on: 1. Prepare workers for good jobs and ensure fair compensation
a. Increase workers’ incomes and narrow wage and income inequality; and b. Help workers who are in low-wage jobs or out of the labor market find a path into middle class jobs
2. Assure fair and high-quality work-life environments
a. Break down barriers to fair and diverse workplaces so that every worker’s contribution is respected; and b. Ensure worker voice in the workplace
These goals outline the OFCCP’s continued focus on ensuring that federal contractors provide non-discriminatory work environments. It is important to note the agency’s desire to conduct corporate wide multi-establishment reviews as well as industry-specific reviews. Information regarding how these reviews will be conducted and which industries will be targeted should be forthcoming in the next few months as details of the new plans are published. It is clear that the construction industry will be under increased scrutiny as it has been an under-evaluated industry in the past. Now that OIRA has completed the review of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) publication to the Federal Register shortly and as details become available America’s Job Exchange will continue to post updates.
Sources: – Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys, LLP