On September 11, 2013, America’s Job Exchange hosted a successful compliance conference in Waltham, Massachusetts. In the light of new OFCCP regulations that have just recently been announced (and soon to go into effect), this conference, titled, Recruiting Strategies for OFCCP Compliance, was very timely and provided a wealth of information on hiring diversity, specifically, veterans and candidates with disabilities. The conference also aimed to elaborate on how to prepare for an OFCCP audit and ways of handling feedback given by OFCCP. Mandi Costa, Assistant District Director, U.S. Department of Labor OFCCP office, presented on OFCCP compliance review procedures. Mandi was joined by the Compliance Officers Paul Filgut and Alyne Butland from the Boston office of the OFCCP.
As explained by the speakers, the first step of an OFCCP audit is a scheduling letter that notifies of impending evaluation, followed by a request for Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) with supporting data and 30-day AAP submission period. The AAP audits could be on-site but is mostly off-site. The OFCCP will look closely at job group analysis and also at designation of responsibility. The names of officials responsible for implementing EEO and AAP will need to be provided with details of job duties and responsibilities. The OFCCP also needs from employers, identification of problem areas. For this, employers need to analyze the entire employment process and determine where impediments to EEO exist, if at all. They then need to set goals and objectives to correct the identified problem areas. Good faith efforts have to be documented and specific action plan needs to be laid out. Additionally, a reliable internal audit and reporting system that periodically measures the effectiveness of its total AAP must be in place. For Affirmative Action Programs for Individuals with Disabilities (Section 503) and Protected veterans (38 U.S.C. 4212), needed is a narrative of company’s policy statement, reasonable accommodations to physical and mental limitations, training etc. The OFCCP office promised good communication, compliance assistance and confidentiality.
The session ended with a lively Q&A session where contractors brought in several specific questions, and Mandi and her team answered them patiently. We hoped that the conference will help open up lines of communication between the OFCCP and the contractor community, and based on the participation once can only say that it happened in a big way. Thank you OFCCP.