Putting an OFCCP Review of Internal Procedures on Your End of Year Agenda
Resources for Federal Contractor OFCCP Compliance
Updated 12/07/2011 to include free webinar on OFCCP 2012.
12/07/2011 - 12/05/2011 – If you are in any department other than human resources or government compliance, you may be unaware that on September 24, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson issued Executive Order 11246, which charged the U.S. Secretary of Labor with the responsibility of ensuring that federal contractors did not discriminate in their recruiting, hiring, training and other employment practices.
Forty-six years later, human resources departments, particularly those in companies that rely on federal contracts for significant revenues (such as providing food for the armed forces), are not only aware of the rules that are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), they can be the foundation for how and where a company promotes its job openings, how online resumes are searched, how job offers are made, how training is documented and how wages are decided on.
Like all United States employers, federal contractors should have recruitment, hiring and employment practices which ensure equal opportunity on the bases of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For federal contractors, there are two additional issues.
- Federal contractors must be proactive in ensuring equal opportunity. This means that during a hiring practices audit, the company cannot use “those are the only individuals that applied” to defend a homogeneous workforce.
- Federal contractors can have judgments against them which include financial penalties, restitution and/or loss of contracts.
While the OFCCP asks for voluntary compliance, it periodically brings charges against companies or divisions when circumstances are appropriate. The most significant completed case in the food industry was a settlement in 2000 for $4.1 billion. This case had to do with pay discrimination and the results, according to the OFCCP, benefitted over 900 current and former female employees.
Another food industry case was brought to the media’s attention last week as the Department of Labor brought suit against Cargill for what they deemed unfair hiring practices for an Arkansas Turkey Plant which the company owns and operates. Mike Hughlett, the food industry reporter for The Star-Tribune in Minneapolis, does an excellent job outlining the OFCCP charges and Cargill’s initial responses. (Editors note: there was a follow-up story in The Star-Tribune relating to the revenue Cargill receives from the U.S. government.)
If it’s been more than two years since your company has reviewed its OFCCP compliance procedures, it is worth pulling together the various organizational stakeholders and reviewing procedures. Keep in mind that the Department of Labor reorganized on November 8, 2009, abolishing the Employment Standards Administration (ESA) and giving the four major program groups of the ESA their own stand-alone programs reporting directly to the Secretary of Labor.
· Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
· Office of Labor Management Standards
· Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
· Wage and Hour Division
The reorganization eliminated a federal layer -- the Office of the Assistant Secretary and the Office of Management, Administration and Planning (OMAP), which is intended to make the departments reporting to the Secretary of Labor, more efficient.
For those that would like to understand federal contractor compliance responsibilities, a good place to start is the government’s online guide for new federal contractors.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor has a page dedicated to helping federal contractors answer compliance questions.
The OFCCP makes compliance posters available online in English, Spanish and Chinese. Download them for free.
Non-government resources to consider:
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – SHRM has a number of resources but most are reserved for members in good standing. In one of their OFCCP-related articles, which is behind their online membership gate, we found an excellent cautionary statement by Cara Yates Crotty, an attorney with Constangy, Brooks & Smith in Columbia, S.C.
“One of the most common—and potentially disastrous—mistakes is failing to ensure the accuracy of the data. If you don’t take the time to make sure that the data you are using is accurate, you could show areas of adverse impact where none actually exist. Because adverse impact can result in monetary liability during a compliance review, this could have significant consequences. When the underlying data is not accurate, then the entire affirmative action plan may be suspect, so it is vitally important to make sure the data pulled doesn’t have holes in it.”
LinkedIn – There are two active groups on LinkedIn dedicated recruiting compliance. The group with the most members (nearly 1,400 to date) is “OFCCP / EEO Recruiting Compliance”.
Vendors – If you haven’t already, make sure you consider how your applicant tracking system and advertising/social media efforts support your diversity and inclusion goals.
OFCCP Audit Checklist – Hudson Mann has an easy to read, online checklist.
OFCCP Free 30 Minute Webinar Entitled "Big Changes in OFCCP Compliance Enforcement. Are You Prepared?" being offered by HR-3D. Jim Jutzin, SPHR and Vice President for the compliance and compensation services solutions company reports webinars are currently scheduled for the following times. E-mail email@example.com to register.
- December 8 at 10:30 am
- December 14 at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm
- December 20 at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm
All times are Eastern Standard Time Zone.
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- Campbell to Acquire Plum Organics, Entering the Premium Baby Food Category Campbell Soup Company expects to close on the acquisition of Plum Organics by the fourth quarter of their 2013 fiscal year.
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