Thursday, April 19, 2012

Congratulations to Our SWARM Conference Drawing Winners!

Here’s a reason to attend a conference in which Biddle is a vendor. At the recent SWARM conference in San Antonio, Biddle Consulting Group gave away 1-full year of BCGi Platinum membership privileges (a $299 value each) to 10 lucky recipients.

BCGi - Online Training and Resources for the HR EEO Community
This membership provides the winners with unlimited access to live webinars (most are eligible for HRCI credit!), all previously recorded webinars, Platinum member only training, EEO Insight Archive and all the tools found on the BCGi website. Among the dozens of attendees who stopped by our booth and dropped a business card into our “Everything is Bigger in Texas” mug, a special congratulations goes to the following winners:
  • Martha Burrage – Honeywell
  • Liz Sauls - SACU 
  • Mike Dougherty – Colorado School of Mines 
  • Nilda Barela – University of New Mexico 
  • Audrey Magnuson – University of Texas, San Antonio 
  • Jackie Kostreba - Dell 
  • Kristi Williamson – McKesson 
  • Shari Conaway – Southwest Airlines 
  • Beth Cook – American Eurocopter 
  • Liese Teneyuca-Arias - SACU 
  • LyKinda Warner – Pamlab

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Video: "Reviewing the Impact of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' Regulatory and Enforcement Actions"

This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing to review the impact of the OFCCP's regulatory and enforcement actions. This event was streamed live.

The committee invited four witnesses to testify about the impact of the proposed new regulations. After the testimonies, each committee congressman was given five minutes to comment and question the witnesses.

You can watch the recording of the hearing here:

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(If you cannot see the video above please go to:

More information about the hearing, including the complete written testimony of each witness and Chairman Roe's opening statement can be found here:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Value of a Veteran

One of the many benefits of attending conferences is the opportunity to meet other professionals in our industry. Last week, we attended the SWARM Conference and were delighted to meet Lisa Rosser. Lisa's company, The Value of a Veteran, educates and helps government agencies, corporations and higher education institutions develop a veterans hiring strategy. The firm provides these services via web seminars, an employer's guide, workshops and consulting.

In the near future, we will be presenting a BCGi webinar with Lisa. In the meantime, watch the video below to learn more about The Value of a Veteran. Also, be sure to visit

(If you are unable to see the video above, please view it online at

Lilly Ledbetter Interview

Today for Equal Pay Day, we've posted an interview with Lilly Ledbetter. You may recall that Lilly Ledbetter is the inspiration for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. In the interview below, she tells her story.

 (If you are unable to see the audio player, please go to

Monday, April 16, 2012

Live Hearing: "Reviewing the Impact of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' Regulatory and Enforcement Actions"

Watch live as representatives from the healthcare field testify in front of a special subcommittee Congress recently assembled regarding OFCCP’s impact on developing and maintaining Affirmative Action Plan(s). How will Congress react to the testimonies from the AAP Healthcare Community? Will the results of the hearing not only impact current regulations but also influence the pending approvals of the Proposed Regulations regarding the Covered Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities?

Find out by watching the hearing live this Wednesday, April 18th at 10:00 a.m. (EST).
Go to for broadcast viewing information.

"Reviewing the Impact of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' Regulatory and Enforcement Actions"

Friday, April 13, 2012

AAP and Comp Data Security

Are you certain your AAP and Comp data are safe?

Have you ever wondered what happens to your data after you send it to a consultant? Most consultants simply save your information on their laptop or flash-drive, some will place your data behind a company firewall, and others will even secure your data in a building that is monitored by a security guard. Is your data really as safe as it should be?

While you may not be able to affirmatively answer these questions about the security of your data, you should know that Biddle Consulting Group is proactively addressing data security. Biddle stops at nothing to ensure client data are secure. From industry leading 128bit encrypted data transfer technology, to annual independent third-party security evaluations, and cloud computing in today's safest server farms, Biddle makes every attempt possible to lock-down client data. Biddle has also been evaluated and approved to store data by two of the most security conscious industries - Banking and Healthcare Insurance.

Do you want to know more about the security of your data in our data centers?  Take a look at the following information about our secure data facility:
"...monitor the physical security of our Enterprise Data Center, around the clock, with a full staff of professional security personnel at our on-site Security Control Center. The facility's physical surveillance includes pan-tilt-and-zoom digital recording cameras, 360-degree perimeter and roof observation, event-driven intrusion detection systems, and locked-down floor tiles with an under-floor intrusion detection system. access controls ensure that only authorized customers have access to the facility. Pin-code access keypads, proximity card readers, and biometric iris scanners monitor every access point. Weight sensitive portals control multi-person entries. And the system monitors and logs the entry and exit of each visitor to our facility and/or customer cages." 
Still thinking your data are safe? Or are you one of the many Biddle clients reading this blog and pleased that we take data security so seriously?  Whether you are a client or prospective client who wants to know more about how Biddle keeps your data secure, feel free to call (800) 999-0438. Ask for an AAP representative; we are happy to help!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Understanding and Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and Its Regulations

A recent news brief written by the DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (  links to a helpful multimedia resource from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). This valuable resource provides a video, transcript, and resource handouts with information on the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). Real-life examples from the Job Accommodation Network case study library are used.

To visit JAN's multimedia library, click below:
Understanding and Applying the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act and Its Regulations

Monday, April 9, 2012

EEOC’s Final Rule on Disparate Impact and “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

On March 30, 2012 the EEOC’s Final Rule on Disparate Impact and “Reasonable Factors Other Than Age” under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was published on the Federal Register. The changes to the rule accomplishes two things. First, it makes the existing ADEA regulation consistent with the Supreme Court’s holding that the defense to an ADEA disparate impact claim is RFOA, and not business necessity. And second, it explains the meaning of the RFOA defense to employees, employers, and those who enforce and implement the ADEA.
“The purpose of the ADEA is to prohibit employment discrimination against people who are 40 years of age or older. Congress enacted the ADEA in 1967 because of its concern that older workers were disadvantaged in retaining and regaining employment. The ADEA also addressed concerns that older workers were barred from employment by some common employment practices that were not intended to exclude older workers, but that had the effect of doing so and were unrelated to job performance.

The ADEA prohibits discrimination against workers because of their older age with respect to any aspect of employment.  In addition to prohibiting intentional discrimination against older workers (known as “disparate treatment”), the ADEA prohibits practices that, although facially neutral with regard to age, have the effect of harming older workers more than younger workers (known as “disparate impact”), unless the employer can show that the practice is based on an RFOA.  This rule concerns only disparate impact discrimination and the Reasonable Factors Other than Age defense to such claims.

The rule responds to two Supreme Court decisions in which the Court criticized one part of the Commission’s existing ADEA regulations. The Court upheld EEOC’s longstanding position that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, even if the harm was not intentional. However, it disagreed with the part of the regulations which said that, if an employee proved in court that an employment practice disproportionately harmed older workers, the employer had to justify it as a “business necessity.” The Court said that, in an ADEA disparate impact case, the employer did not have to prove business necessity; it need only prove that the practice was based on an RFOA. The Court also said that the RFOA defense is easier to prove than the business necessity defense but did not otherwise explain RFOA.

RFOA is the standard defense to ADEA impact claims. The final rule revises section 1625.7 of the regulations, which only addresses the RFOA defense, and does not change other regulatory sections that apply to the ADEA’s other affirmative defenses. However, the rule does not preclude an employer from asserting another statutory provision in response to a particular claim. For example, if an employee alleged that a practice required by a seniority system had a disparate impact, the employer could defend the claim by relying on section 4(f)(2) of the ADEA, which precludes using disparate impact analysis to challenge the provisions of a seniority system.

The rule emphasizes the need for an individualized consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular situation.  It includes the following list of considerations relevant to assessing reasonableness:
  • the extent to which the factor is related to the employer’s stated business purpose;
  • the extent to which the employer defined the factor accurately and applied the factor fairly and accurately, including the extent to which managers and supervisors were given guidance or training about how to apply the factor and avoid discrimination;
  • the extent to which the employer limited supervisors’ discretion to assess employees subjectively, particularly where the criteria that the supervisors were asked to evaluate are known to be subject to negative age-based stereotypes;
  • the extent to which the employer assessed the adverse impact of its employment practice on older workers; and
  • the degree of the harm to individuals within the protected age group, in terms of both the extent of injury and the numbers of persons adversely affected, and the extent to which the employer took steps to reduce the harm, in light of the burden of undertaking such steps.”
The preceding was provided by the EEOC’s FAQ’s on the ADEA changes. More FAQ’s about the final rule can be found here:

To read the final rule in its entirety, including open comments and responses, click here:
Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In terms of analyzing applicant data, do public and private employers use the same yard-stick?

(by Biddle Consulting Group's Marife Ramos, Director of Operations - EEO/AA, and John Piatt, Director EEO/AA - O & CR)

The final Internet Applicant Rule became effective February 6, 2006, one-hundred and twenty days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. While the rule did not apply retroactively to hiring decisions made prior to February 6, 2006 a contractor must have made provisions in their hiring processes to track detailed demographic information about Internet Applicants and retain the records for further analyses after February 6, 2006.

The passing of this rule has cost federal contractors hundreds of millions of dollars in time, development of changes in management in processes/procedures, training and the implementation of costly applicant tracking systems.  It also provided the OFCCP with in-roads into mountains of federal contractor employment data in the private sector and has become their stall-worth for identifying discrimination and obtaining back pay and restitution for individuals affected by discriminatory hiring practices.
Have you ever wondered: “If federal contractors are expected to collect, maintain, and analyze employee and transactions data as required by the E.O. 11246, are public agencies also subject to the same expectations? When federal contractors fail to address the requirements of the regulations, there are financial/reporting consequences on the part of the contractors. How about the public agencies, what type of consequences do they face when they fail to address the reporting requirements?”

Below is an excerpt from an annual report from the EEOC ( In this report, it states that public agencies, through MD-715, are also required to provide comprehensive employment data (particularly applicants for new hires and promotions) to the EEOC on a yearly basis. Yet, only 22% of the public agencies collect the necessary applicant data; (although this is already about a 4% increase from last year’s turn-out). This report will make one wonder: “is the stick from which employers are measured the same for all?”

22% of Agencies Collect Applicant Flow Data
EEOC's regulations provide that each agency shall establish a system to collect and maintain accurate employment information on the race, national origin, sex and [disabilities] of its employees . . . .[and] use the data . . . in studies and analyses which contribute affirmatively to achiev[e] the objectives of the equal employment opportunity program. 29 C.F.R. §114.601(a) and (e). Section II(E) of MD-715 establishes that a model EEO program must maintain a system that tracks applicant flow data, which identifies applicants by race, national origin, sex and disability status and the disposition of all applications.
The MD-715 report tables currently require agencies to report applicant flow data for new hires and internal competitive promotions in major occupations, for internal selections to Senior Level positions and for participation in career development.
In FY 2010, 42 (22%) of the 192 agencies and subcomponents that submitted MD-715 data, reported collecting comprehensive applicant flow data, up from 33 (18.33%) of the 180 agencies and subcomponents, that submitted MD-715 data, reporting comprehensive applicant flow data in FY 2009. Figure 7 below shows the percentage of agencies that collected comprehensive applicant data on an annual basis. See Appendix III for a detailed list of agencies' status.”
Percentage of Public Agencies that Collect Applicant Flow Data