Guest Commentator Shafeeqa Watkins Giarratani Asks: Are You Prepared for the OFCCP’s New Compliance Developments?

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has had an uptick in aggressive enforcement efforts during the Obama Administration. Since 2009, the OFCCP’s staff has increased by 35% and it has hired and trained almost 200 new compliance officers. It has negotiated more than $25 million in back wages and interest and required more than 4,200 potential job offers to be made to workers alleged to have been victims of discrimination. In short, under the Obama Administration the OFCCP has been busy – very busy. On Thursday, May 24, I will be presenting a webinar with America’s Job Exchangeon this very topic, discussing key enforcement efforts and initiatives by the OFCCP. More importantly, we will provide practical tips so that your organization will be prepared.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the topics we plan to discuss during the webinar. OFCCP’s proposed scheduling letter. The OFCCP has proposed a new scheduling letter which will require substantially more data to be submitted to OFCCP for desk audit. New mandatory items for submission would include: leave and accommodations policies; more specific demographic information for applicants, hires, promotions and terminations; data by job group and job title; more precise, employee-level compensation data; and details regarding compensation practices. Learn the steps your organization must take now to get ready. New approach to compensation audits. The OFCCP has changed course with regards to compensation audits. Moreover, the OFCCP has indicated that it is seeking to create a compensation data collection tool to improve its ability to conduct “establishment-specific, contractor-wide, and industry-wide analyses.” Learn how the OFCCP is analyzing your data during compensation audits and the specific statistical analysis you need to run to put your organization in the best position during an audit. Proposed Revisions to Regulations for Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The OFCCP has proposed revisions to the regulations governing VEVRAA and Section 503 which require even more of federal contractors. With regard to VEVRAA, the proposed rule requires several changes to requirements regarding outreach and recruitment for veterans, including requirements that contractors:

  • Establish and maintain quantitative data on the number of protected veterans they learn about through job referrals, the number of protected veterans applying for jobs, and the number of protected veterans they hire
  • Create hiring “benchmarks” for protected veterans
  • Invite veterans to self-identify prior to an offer of employment

For Section 503, key changes in the proposed rule include, requiring contractors and subcontractors to:

  • Set a hiring goal of having seven percent of their employees be workers with disabilities in each job group of the contractors’ workforce
  • Invite all applicants to voluntarily self-identify as an “individual with a disability” at the pre-offer stage of the hiring process
  • Increase recordkeeping and outreach

The OFCCP has been busy and contractors should be busy too – understanding the proposed revisions and new approaches — so that their organizations will be prepared in the event of an audit. Come learn what you need to do at the webinar on Thursday, May 24 at 1:00pm ET. Shafeeqa Watkins Giarratani is widely recognized as an authority on OFFCP compliance issues, having delivered numerous briefings and speeches on behalf of Fulbright & Jaworski. She is a board member and the legal liaison for the San Antonio Industry Liaison Group (SAILG) and regularly advises Fulbright & Jaworski clients on OFCCP compliance and affirmative action issues. Shafeeqa develops affirmative action plans for employers and has represented several clients during the OFCCP audit process.

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