The following guest post was authored by Beth A. Ronnenburg, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President, Berkshire Associates Inc. and DirectEmployers Compliance Advisory Board member.
If you’re an HR and compliance professional you’re gearing up to plan for and manage your 2016 Affirmative Action Program. With each year comes more updates and enforcement trends the contractor community needs to thoroughly understand to protect their companies from potential liability.
To effectively manage the changes ahead, federal contractors need to be proactive in their approaches to managing the latest agency requirements and policies. From audits to pay transparency, there is much ground for HR professionals to cover in 2016.
As President of Berkshire Associates, a leading HR consulting and technology firm, I understand the importance of keeping your company compliant—and the effort it takes to manage agency enforcement efforts. To help make the process easier, I am teaming up with DirectEmployers on February 10 to provide a free webinar to the HR community entitled, “New Year, New Compliance: What to Expect in 2016.” Register now.
Below are some of the topics that will be covered during this webinar:
Analyzing AAPs after a full year under the new regulations
Of specific interest is how OFCCP is analyzing AAPs after a full year under the revised Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans regulations. Any plan developed after March 24, 2015, must comply with all of the new requirements, including:
- The applicant and hiring data collection for PV and IWD
- IWD utilization analysis
- Veteran hiring benchmark
- Annual written outreach and recruitment evaluation
Gone are the days where companies can state they are “working on complying” and expect OFCCP to accept that answer without follow-up.
OFCCP’s Fall 2015 Regulatory Agenda and additional updates
OFCCP has three items listed in its Fall 2015 Agenda, in varying stages of development, that will impact compliance in 2016.
- OFCCP’s revision to the Sex Discrimination Guidelines
- The Equal Pay Report
- The revision to construction contractors’ affirmative action requirements
Additional regulatory changes include, Executive Order 13706: Paid Sick Leave, Executive Order 13762: Gender Identity, and Executive Order 13665: Pay Transparency.
Impact of election year on federal contractors
With 2016 being an election year, changes in office could greatly impact federal contractors. If the current administration wants any of their proposed rules finalized, conventional wisdom is these rules should be settled by the end of November, 2016. Contractors can expect a flurry of activity as the current administration attempts to complete any outstanding proposed regulations and rules before they leave office.
Predicted audit focuses for 2016
Heading into 2016, existing and new audits are continuing to focus on reviews of contractor compensation. I have seen an uptick in requests to speak with Compensation Managers, or whomever is in charge of salary decisions, both at the location under audit and for the organization as a whole. These interviews take place over the phone or in conjunction with an onsite visit, and cover topics such as:
- Compensation policies
- Starting pay
- Other types of compensation (bonuses, commissions, overtime, etc.)
- Merit increases
- Self-audits, salary surveys, or pay equity studies the contractor has conducted, and what adjustments were made as a result
Register now for this great free webinar to learn more about the above topics, and how to plan for the enforcement efforts that will impact your company in the year ahead.