The OFCCP Week in Review (WIR) is a simple, fast and direct summary of relevant happenings in the OFCCP regulatory environment, authored by experts John C. Fox, Candee Chambers and Jennifer Polcer. In today’s edition, they discuss:

 

OFCCP Stakeholder Meetings Conducted

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
The OFCCP held three separate Stakeholder meetings over Tuesday and Wednesday. Those invited were government contractors, civil rights groups, and various membership organizations. The meetings were led by the newly appointed OFCCP Director Ondray Harris, Senior Advisor Craig Leen and Director of Policy Debra Carr.  Candee Chambers, Executive Director of DirectEmployers Association and Paul White, DirectEmployers Board President, attended Wednesday’s session on behalf of its 900 plus Members, who are mostly Government Contractors.

In their session, approximately 20 individuals and the OFCCP had an open dialogue with the goal for the OFCCP to share their plans based on Director Harris’ goals for the agency.  According to Harris, the four main goals of the “new” OFCCP are:

  1. Apprenticeships
  2. Recognition of employers
  3. Outreach for Individuals with Disabilities
  4. Compliance Assistance

Much of the Director’s focus was the plan for Apprenticeship programs “to be part of a contractor’s AAP,” as described by Craig Leen.  “With 6 million jobs available in the United States, despite the 4.1% unemployment rate, there is a defined skills gap in our country, and companies need a pipeline of talent to fill those jobs.  Apprenticeship programs can build those pipelines and develop more parity in the workforce,” explained Ondray Harris on the importance of companies developing Apprenticeship programs.

Debra Carr discussed the idea of a recognition program for government contractors who have demonstrated results, furthering her discussion started at the ILG National Conference in San Antonio last year. (See OFCCP Week In Review: August 7, 2017) The program could include utilizing successful contractors for these contractors helping other contractors needing assistance.  The desire to incentivize contractors with voluntary compliance was an evident theme throughout the meeting.  “I believe all attendees felt the leaders of the OFCCP were intent on building a “partnership” with the contractor community moving forward,” explained Chambers.

Director Harris also shared the plan of OFCCP to be transparent. He acknowledged the manner in which the OFCCP conducts business and asks questions of those going through an OFCCP evaluation is critical.  The agency plans to provide compliance assistance whenever needed so contractors can focus on doing the right things up front rather than getting caught undergoing a compliance evaluation.  The OFCCP recognizes that 98% of contractors they evaluate are fully compliant and they plan to approach future evaluations assuming the contractors are innocent until proven guilty, which will be a welcome change to all government contractors.  “I like the fact the OFCCP wants to work with contractors and provide assistance so they can get things right. This was a great opportunity to be able to meet them and hear their plans in coming years,” stated Paul White.

 

HIRE Vets Medallion Program Opened for Applications

Friday, February 2, 2018
The HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration is now accepting applications!

The Program Demonstration will recognize job creators for their investments in recruiting, employing and retaining our nation’s veterans.

The Program Demonstration will allow the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) to initially run applications, raise awareness of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, and enable more employers to prepare to successfully garner recognition when the Program launches in 2019.

The Program Demonstration will use the same criteria the HIRE Vets Medallion Program will use in 2019. The Program Demonstration has no application fee and is limited to the first 300 applicants.

Job creators of all sizes can apply online at www.hirevets.gov.

For more information, visit www.dol.gov/vets, follow @VETS_DOL, and join the conversation #HIREVets.

 

January Unemployment Rates Released

Friday, February 2, 2018
In January 2018, the veteran unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, little different from 4.5 percent in January 2017. The non-veteran unemployment rate for January 2018 was 4.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted). View full report.

 

No Increase In Sexual Harassment Claims

Friday, February 2, 2018
Despite all the publicity around sexual harassment in the media, including the advent of the #MeToo movement, the EEOC has not seen a rise in actual claims of sexual harassment. Acting Chairwoman of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, Victoria Lipnic, spoke at an event held at the New York University School of Law.

The agency has seen four times the amount of visitors to its website since the sordid details of allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in October began a wave of similar complaints against other public figures, Lipnic said. “But that has not yet translated into a surge in actual charges of discrimination being filed,” Lipnic told a group of lawyers at New York University.

The increased spotlight has pushed the urgency for training and awareness by employers though. The EEOC plans to do more for education on this topic as well, as reported in their  Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, which was released last June.

 


THIS COLUMN IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW AND PRACTICE RELATING TO OFCCP. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK ADVICE OF COUNSEL.

Reminder: If you have specific OFCCP compliance questions and/or concerns or wish to offer suggestions about future topics for the OFCCP Week In Review, please contact your membership representative at (866) 268-6206 (for DirectEmployers Association Members), or email Jennifer at jpolcer@directemployers.org with your ideas.

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Jennifer Polcer
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