Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OFCCP Posts New Directive Restoring Functional AAPs

Today, the OFCCP posted a new directive bringing Functional Affirmative Action Plans back to life after an extended review by Director of OFCCP, Patricia Shiu.

See an excerpt from the release in addition to a web link to the full release below.

News Release
OFCCP News Release: [06/28/2011]
Contact Name: Jason Surbey or Dolline Hatchett
Phone Number: (202) 693-4668 or x4651
Release Number: 11-0973-NAT

US Labor Department restores and updates Functional Affirmative Action Program process for federal contractors and subcontractors

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has released a new directive to outline the process by which federal supply and service contractors can apply for Functional Affirmative Action Program agreements, which can be viewed at


"The FAAP is back and is better than before," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Over the past year, I have listened to comments from the contractor community and employee groups, and determined that this is a useful tool for ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors meet their obligations to provide equal employment opportunity for everyone. I am pleased to share updated guidance that responds to the feedback we received while also renewing our commitment to ensuring discrimination-free workplaces."

OFCCP Extends Comment Period for Proposed Changes to Veteran Regulations

OFCCP posted the following notice on their website:

VEVRAA NPRM Comment Period Extended

On April 26, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). This NPRM (76 FR 23358) proposes revising regulations implementing the affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended.

The original comment period is scheduled to end on Monday, June 27, 2011. After receiving several requests for extensions, OFCCP is extending the comment period for this NPRM for 14 days until Monday, July 11, 2011. This action will provide all interested persons additional time to analyze the issues and provide their comments on the NPRM. Parties interested in commenting can view the NPRM and submit comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov and referencing RIN 1250-AA00.

OFCCP is publishing a Federal Register notice announcing this two-week extension of the comment period.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Auditing for Adverse Impact: Background Screening, Employment Testing, and Reductions in Force Webinar Announced

Free Webinar on July 12

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs have announced major shifts in their enforcement priorities, from intentional discrimination to systemic discrimination. Unlike intentional discrimination, systemic discrimination focuses on facially neutral employment practices (e.g., pre-employment tests, promotional decisions, and RIF selection criteria) that negatively impact certain groups of employees at higher rates than others (a/k/a "adverse impact").

Given this additional scrutiny, employers must ask:

  1. Do our tests and screening criteria result in adverse impact against individual groups?

  2. Are our tests and screening criteria even useful at identifying better-qualified applicants/employees; if not, then why are we using them?
Now more than ever, employers should be asking these questions before landing on the EEOC's or OFCCP's systemic radar. Patrick Nooren, PhD, of Biddle Consulting Group, joins attorney Merrily Archer of Fisher & Phillips LLP and formerly the EEOC, to explain what "adverse impact" means, and provide training on how to use a free online tool to analyze your organization's selection processes and how to identify if your tests are useful in the first place.

This hour long webinar is free, but registration is required. Once your registration is complete you will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to join the webinar. Participation in this webinar has been approved for one hour of HRCI credit.

Register at the BCG Institute for Workforce Development website

Monday, June 20, 2011

Personnel and Scheduling Letter Changes in the OFCCP’s Midwest Region

The OFCCP’s Midwest Region has announced some notable changes occurring:

  1. In a letter distributed to the Chicago ILG by the OFCCP’s Deputy Director, Les Jin, the official announcement was made that Sandra Ziegler, Chicago’s Regional Director, and Shirley Thomas, Chicago’s Deputy Regional Director will both be leaving their respective offices on or near June 30, 2011.

    In the letter, Deputy Director Jin also said: “One of our primary goals in the upcoming months will be to implement a number of organizational and management changes. They will include moving all managers back to the offices they manage, as well as giving each office responsibility for scheduling and handling their own cases. There will be other changes designed to strengthen district offices, although some changes will occur more gradually than others.”

    Job postings to fill these two vacancies will soon be made available. The OFCCP also intends on hiring a new director for the Division of Regional Operations (DORO) and a Planning and Support Director for the region.

  2. The OFCCP is also recalling all scheduling letters sent from the Midwest Regional Office dated June 3, 2011. If you are one of the contractors who received these letters and have not submitted any materials to the OFCCP yet, you do not have to submit your AAP any longer. However, if you have already submitted your materials in response to the supposed audit, the OFCCP will be returning those materials back to you. The National OFCCP Office will send out official notifications to the contractors for the rescission of June 3, 2011 scheduling letters. Please ensure that you keep these notifications. Please note that this does not exempt any contractor from receiving another audit letter for the same location(s) in the next round of “official” letters that will be sent out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OFCCP Lands Large Settlement For Female Applicants

The OFCCP posted a Press Release on June 16th announcing their latest settlement related to alleged hiring discrimination.

The OFCCP continues to aggressively enforce hiring cases and Patricia Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, has made it abundantly clear that historically male dominated positions are under the microscope. "A global company like ThyssenKrupp should know better than to underestimate the power of America's working women. When the doors of opportunity are fully open to us, there isn't a job that we can't do."

See link to Press Release and an excerpt below.


News Release
OFCCP News Release: [06/16/2011]
Contact Name: Michael D’Aquino or Michael Wald
Phone Number: (404) 562-2076 or x2078
Release Number: 11-0903-ATL

ThyssenKrupp to pay more than $288,000 to rejected female job applicants at Tennessee facility to settle sex discrimination case with US Labor Department
Agreement includes back wages, interest and job offers

MIDDLETON, Tenn. – ThyssenKrupp Elevator Manufacturing Inc. has agreed to pay a total of $288,333 to 248 female job applicants who were systematically rejected for assembler/packer and utility positions at the company's facility in Middleton from January to December 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. In addition to the financial remedy, TKE will extend 23 job offers to affected women as positions become available.

TKE is a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp AG, a global conglomerate based in Germany and one of the world's leading producers of elevators. TKE currently holds a $15.1 million contract to provide elevator and escalator maintenance to the General Services Administration, the U.S. federal government agency that manages most federal buildings.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that TKE had violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sex.

"This agreement sends a powerful message that the U.S. government will not tolerate discrimination," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "A global company like ThyssenKrupp should know better than to underestimate the power of America's working women. When the doors of opportunity are fully open to us, there isn't a job that we can't do."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

OFCCP Announces Large Compensation Settlement

For a few years now the Federal contractor community has been struggling to get their arms around a consistent methodology for conducting compensation analyses as part of their compliance efforts. When the EEO industry looks back on the last decade there has been a lot of disagreement on the most appropriate method for collecting data and analyzing pay. Even the Department of Labor has struggled to identify a consistent strategy that would not come under heavy fire from the contractor and legal community. The OFCCP made a determined effort to implement rules and guidelines in 2006 only to find that the resulting plan was too restrictive to allow for enforcement of their own initiative, so just recently the OFCCP proposed to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to rescind those guidelines and start anew.

In the meantime, the OFCCP continues to enforce the law under Title VII and today they posted a press release showing that equal pay enforcement is very much alive.

See an excerpt from the posting and a link below.


From OFCCP Press Release June 6, 2011:

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca agrees to pay $250,000 to settle sex discrimination lawsuit brought by US Labor Department

124 current and former female employees will share in settlement involving equal pay
PHILADELPHIA — AstraZeneca, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, will pay $250,000 to 124 women who were subjected to pay discrimination while working at the corporation's Philadelphia Business Center in Wayne, Pa. The action resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor in May 2010 alleging that the company discriminated against female sales specialists by paying them salaries that were, on average, $1,700 less than their male counterparts.

The department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs conducted a scheduled compliance review of the business center in 2002 and found that AstraZeneca had violated Executive Order 11246 by failing to meet its obligations as a federal contractor to ensure employees were paid fairly without regard to sex, race, color, religion and national origin. AstraZeneca holds a contract valued at more than $2 billion with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide pharmaceutical products to hospitals and medical centers around the country.