Here at America’s Job Exchange (AJE) we pride ourselves on “beginning to end” audit support back by our team of compliance experts. This team is led by AJE’s Director of Compliance, Gary Cowan. Gary spent over 24 years at the Department on Labor as an auditor, trainer and director…and now he’s on the “other side.” This unique customer experience, combined with our industry leading diversity recruitment and OFCCP compliance solutions empowers our customers and gives them peace of mind. Being aware of the most prevalent audit failures before an actual government audit, will better prepare federal contractors in creating effective best practices and keeping compliant.
This is a first, in a series, of ‘Ask The Expert’ Q&A blogs where we will tap into the vast pool of industry knowledge we have here at America’s Job Exchange (AJE). This blog features our resident expert, Gary Cowan, Director of Compliance.
Q: I know you are an expert in your field, but can you give others a quick summary of why you are particularly knowledgeable in the area of OFCCP audits?
A: I worked at the US Department of Labor for over 24 years, 16 years as an investigator and 8 years in the Administration of DOL. During my time as an investigator I trained hundreds of investigators in investigative techniques and the application of the regulations. I also spent 8 years in Boston, NY and DC as a Director of Administration, supervising over 50 staff members, coordinating several national special projects and working with regional directors nationwide.
Q: How do you use your expertise to assist our customers here at AJE?
A: I have the unique experience that I have trained the auditors in investigative techniques, the application of regulations and the inner workings on how and why companies are audited. Providing that information to our customers is extremely valuable in their approach to an OFCCP audit. Continue reading →
Due to high demand for more information into the industry trends of the topics of Human Resources, Labor Relations, Department of Labor regulations and compliance expectations, America’s Job Exchange has gone monthly with its educational webinars.
This September we chose to tackle OFCCP audits. We know they exist. We assist our customers through them weekly… but how is one organization selected over another? What takes place during these investigations? Is there any way to prepare, ahead of time, for an audit? If you have visions of a meltdown dancing in your head, knee-deep in a pile of paperwork…we can save yourself the rise in blood pressure. We teamed up with our trusted partners at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates (PMP). They are based in New York and have been committed to providing full-service, strategic guidance on all facets of employer/employee relationships and providing guidance through the numerous laws and regulations that pertain to labor relations and human resource. Continue reading →
Employers and job seekers are often unclear as to their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some employers look upon the ADA with a little fear –- fear of litigation, fear that accommodating someone with a disability costs too much money, or fear that accommodations will mean more work for the employer or their staff. Perhaps the biggest misconception is that the ADA is a law for “those people”. In reality, the ADA is for all of us. According to the Social Security Administration, one in four of today’s twenty-year olds will become disabled before they retire. The ADA is a landmark civil rights law that provides for equal treatment of all people with a disability.
As a federal contractor, you have specific responsibilities related to the employment of individuals with disabilities. As per the amended Section 503 of The Rehabilitation Act, the goal for disability hiring is 7% across all job groups.
Preparation is key and there are steps you can take in advance. Here are some guidelines to help you prepare:
In January 2016, New York became one of many recent states to enact pay equity legislation (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont) The purpose of the state-driven legislation is to clarify factors of the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA). The EPA requires employers to provide equal pay to men and women in the same establishment for the same work, defined as work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility and that which is performed under similar working conditions. Then why are these state laws necessary?
The Equal Pay Act was signed on June 10, 1963, and amended the Fair Labor Standards Act, with a purpose of abolishing wage disparities amongst men and women. The EPA prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions. For an employee to establish a prima facie case under the EPA, she must show that: