In April, President Trump proposed a budget proposal that included a possible 21 percent cut for the DOL budget. Some federal contractors may be interpreting that to mean that the OFCCP will be less active during the Trump administration, given likely budget constraints. But that is not necessarily accurate. In all likelihood, the OFCCP will continue doing what it is supposed to be doing – auditing federal contractors. A smaller budget is not going to stop the OFCCP from investigating complaints. True, a new director for the OFCCP has not been named yet and it may have been a slow start for audits in 2017, but Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta has just been sworn in, so things may gear up fast now.
It may have gone unnoticed that, in spite of not having a Director at the OFCCP since November of 2016 when Patricia Shiu stepped down, the OFCCP has continued to close cases with large settlements since their fiscal year began in October. Here are just a few:
4/25/2017 – Palantir Technologies will pay $1,659,434 in back wages and other monetary relief for allegations of hiring discrimination against Asian applicants in the hiring and selection process for engineering positions.
3/27/2017 – American Ordnance of Iowa has agreed to pay two former security officers a total of $50,000 in back pay and other damages for alleged failure to accommodate them as required by Section 503 and ADA.
1/1/2017 – LexisNexis Risk Solutions will pay over $1.2 million in back pay and provide additional relief to 211 employees to resolve allegations of systemic pay discrimination against women at its facilities in Alpharetta, GA and Boca Raton, FL.
So, to any federal contractors out there who are thinking they can slack off: think again. As a federal contractor you are still obligated to update your affirmative action plans yearly among other things. Additionally, you should:
Review and analyze your data to assure that you can defend any results that are + or – 2-standard deviation;
Assure that you can prove that you have listed every job (with a few exceptions) with appropriate Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS) (where the job is located) along with organizations that work with Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities, Women and Minority;
Compensation analysis is still a very hot topic with the OFCCP and DOL (see LexisNexis case above) – when was the last time you conducted a pay equity analysis? You should also review your policies and procedures for starting salary, bonuses, overtime allocation and how location may affect pay;
Train your hiring team to follow good practices in the number of applicants reviewed, how applicants are rejected or moved forward in the hiring process, and how applicants are interviewed and selected for hire, promotion and for termination.
Remember that the burden is on you, the contractor, to defend your outreach, selection for interview, hire, compensation, promotion and termination. You are non-compliant unless you can prove – through your own record-keeping – that your company’s personnel decisions were made in a non-discriminatory fashion.
As every good scout learns – “Be Prepared.” It’s a good motto that can work for you, too!
To discss your company’s compliance matters, update your AAP or assure that your analyses are done correctly, please contact PMP’s Affirmative Action Compliance Department. PMP is proud of its exceptional record of successfully closed OFCCP audits. We can help with any compliance challenge you may have!
Should you have any questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact PMP. Please keep in mind that in addition to our staff of seasoned HR professionals, we also have experienced employment attorneys on-site to address any questions you may have regarding legal compliance. Contact us at 800-921-2195 or 516-921-3400. You can also visit our website http://www.pmphr.com/ or e-mail us at info@pmpHR.com.