September 2019 Newsletter

Reminder: September 30th Deadlines


Vets 4212

Vets 4212 reporting is due September 30. This report is required if you are a government contractor with $150,000 or more in contract/subcontracts, regardless of the size of your organization. You may use your EEO-1 data file, or the Vets filing period, for the information contained in this report.

If you’ve never filed before, you must register. If you have filed before, you need your login and password to file. Vets4212Reporting


EEO-1 Component 2


EEO-1 Component 2 - Compensation Reporting is due September 30. This report is required if you employ/ed 100 or more employees in 2017 and/or 2018. It requires compensation and hours worked data in 12 pay bands within the 10 EEO-1 categories for a snapshot file during each year by race/gender and by location similar to EEO-1 Component 1.


It is the first year for this report and can be confusing. Don’t wait to file - you may find yourself pulling data from three systems. You should have received instructions for filing this report on the third party site. A unique login and password was sent. It will NOT be pre-populated and the data request is large. There are instructions for an upload of the file. EEO-1 Component 2 Reporting



If you have questions about either of these reports, give us a call. 817-887-8009

August 2019 Newsletter

National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) Overview

Our team is back from our national conference where we heard from EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic and OFCCP Director Craig Leen. We also learned that Craig Leen is a corn hole ninja!  

OFCCP

Our biggest take away from hearing from Director Leen at OFCCP:  he is passionate about employing people with disabilities. Their unemployment rate is extremely high and he believes that American business has the ability to provide meaningful employment to differently-abled persons.  

OFCCP will be doing focused 503 audits looking at leave policies, compensation for disabled individuals, requests for accommodations and effective outreach. These audits will be on-site; include interviews of self identified disabled workers and those who have requested accommodations.  They will last one week. It is the agency’s intention to be collaborative and assist an employer with proactively employing people with disabilities.  

The agency wants to do more audits that take less time and continue to be transparent with the employer community.  This has been our experience this past year. Audits are closing faster and there is more open dialogue with the compliance officer.  However, they will continue to be strict on deadlines. They are insistent on having your plan up to date, in order and audit ready.

Parental leave policies should be equally applied to males and females and leave for active duty will also be looked at during audits.  Employing spouses of active duty military persons will be seen as good faith efforts towards Veterans.  

Director Leen believes that promotional practices need to be looked at with regards to pay. There will be an increased focus on promotional activity within your organization.  


ACTION: Contact your state’s disability outreach agency (usually associated with your workforce commission). Create a task force within your organization and find out how you can reach various disability resource groups.  


REMINDER: If you are a federal contractor or subcontractor, you must survey your workforce every five years for disability status.  These regulations went into effect in 2014, so many of you will be coming up on your 5 years. Although this survey is VOLUNTARY and the approved form must be used, top leadership support and messaging can help increase survey responses and also create an inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Review the form here:  Self ID Form


EEOC 


Commissioner Lipnic addressed EEO-1 Component 2. This report is required by a Judge’s ruling, not by agency initiative. A third party, The University of Chicago, is hosting and administering the survey. W2 Box 1 earnings and hours worked must be reported for 12 pay bands within each EEO-1 category for a payroll period in the last quarters of 2017 and 2018. Much litigation and conversation is ensuing about this reporting, but for now, it is on. More info available here: EEO-1 Comp2 Filing


Spotlight on Service: Component 2 Reporting



The HRConsultant is available to assist with EEO-1 Component 2 submissions. Since we are uncertain about the time and complexity of this project, we will be billing on an hourly rate. Email now to secure your spot. terri@thehrconsultant.com


 I-9 Questions?

If you have any questions regarding I-9 completion, you can call the I-9 Hotline. Needless to say, compliance with immigration requirements is paramount. However, the solicitor general’s office related that many employers have unfair documenting policies because they are not aware of the requirements.  This number does not track company, just part of the country calling from and is not used punitively. Don’t get caught discriminating on the basis of national origin and citizenship because you are afraid of immigration issues.  1-800-255-8155


Sharon Fast Gustafson Sworn in As General Counsel of the EEOC

Sharon Fast Gustafson was sworn in on August 8th as General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a four-year term. She becomes the first woman to serve as General Counsel at the EEOC. Want to learn more about her career?  Press Release


OFCCP Releases New Technical Assistance Guides

OFCCP has released a number of new technical assistance guides (TAGs)The new TAGs include record keeping guides, applicant tracking guides, and a posting and notices guide.  See what's new and watch for more to come! 


OFCCP Revived Ombudsman Program 


Marcus Stergio has been selected to serve as the agency's new Ombudsman.  The new Ombudsman will provide assurance to contractors and other stakeholders that OFCCP is treating them fairly, in a manner consistent with the Agency’s legal authorities, policies, and procedures. It is also intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal OFCCP operations.

Stergio has previously served as the primary administrator of the dispute resolution process for a number of multi-national organizations, companies and institutions. 

July 2019 Newsletter

EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Reporting

Here’s what we know:

A third party will be administering the EEO-1 Pay 2 component. A website with portal has been established to collect the data; employers have started receiving notices about this system and it will be live on July 15 with a filing deadline of September 30. Here is the link to the filing system: Comp2 EEO1 Filing

This report will NOT link back to your EEO-1 Component 1 report.

You must report two separate years of data (not two years of data for same people), picking any payroll period during October 1 – December 31 of 2017 and 2018.  It does NOT have to match what you used to report Component 1.  

If you are a federal contractor and you have less than 100 employees during any of these payroll periods, you do NOT have to file Component 2.  

There are 12 pay bands within each EEO-1 category.  Similar to Component 1, you will have to enter counts by race/gender categories within each band, by location.  You will also have to report total hours worked. See the sample form:  Online Filing Sample Form

You MUST use W-2 BOX 1 EARNINGS for each person in your data file for 2017 and 2018. 

For hours worked:  

NON EXEMPT employees:  report ACTUAL FLSA hours worked (exclude paid vacations, holidays, leaves, etc.)

EXEMPT employees: report EITHER actual hours worked (if tracked) or can use a proxy of 40 hours for full time and 20 hours for part time exempt employees. We recommend the proxy unless you track actual hours worked for your exempt employees.  

Here’s How to Prepare:

  • Assure you can access 2017 and 2018 W2 Box 1 earnings and can pull in with your demographic data (name, race, gender, location, job title, EEO-1 codes, etc.). 

  • Assure you can access 2017 and 2018 hours worked, especially for non-exempt employees and assimilate with demographic and W2 data.

  • Assure EEO-1 codes are clean.  This data might be used for statistical analysis. It’s too late to do pay equity analysis of people by EEO-1 categories (and frankly, we don’t believe it’s a good comparison basis) BUT if you see someone way outside of anyone else’s range in the EEO category, it could be that they are misclassified.  

Here’s Our Advice:

Don’t be an early adopter.  Prepare and gather data but wait to file towards the deadline. With any new government regulation, there are usually bumps along the road and the ability to request an extension if needed. 

Upload is the way to go. This is a large amount of data. We recommend an upload to the system rather than manual entry.  Upload File Specs

Don’t file if you don’t have to. Government contractors who have at least 50 but less than 100 during any part of the reporting period don’t have to file.  Carefully check your payroll numbers if you are close. 

 Pick an easy date.  If you clearly have over 100 employees, use 12/31 snapshot date unless you had a merger/acquisition later in the year where data might not be as accessible or reliable. 

Let’s talk. If data is no longer available to you due to systems migrations, divestiture, etc. – let’s talk this through.  

We will be available to assist our clients with this reporting. Because we are unaware of the time it will take, we will be billing these projects on an hourly basis vs. flat rate until we can get a handle on the complexity. 

Contact Terri Swain for quote.

Terri@thehrconsultant.com

817-887-8009 o. 817-991-7486 c


EEOC Seminar

Our founder, Terri Swain, will be speaking about high risk EEO violation areas (hiring, paying, promoting and firing) at the EEOC Technical Assistance Program in Dallas on August 7, 2019. See the link for registration and for information on this always informative workshop.

Seminar Signup and Info


National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) Conference

We will be attending the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) conference in Milwaukee at the end of July. During this conference we’ll hear from EEOC and OFCCP leadership, as well as top thought leaders. Learn more and sign up here: NILG Conference

This is a great conference for EEO/AA practitioners to attend. We’ll be posting updates as we hear them on facebook.

Be sure to follow us: https://www.facebook.com/thehrconsultant/

June 2019 Newsletter

EEO-1 Component Two Update

Your EEO-1 Survey Component One should have been completed by May 31. If you haven’t filed, violation notices are being sent very quickly. The EEOC seems to want to close out Component One, so it can bring up Component Two reporting.

The EE0-1 Survey Component Two is a collection of hours and pay data from 2017 and 2018. The deadline for this report is Sept 30, 2019. The EEOC anticipates opening the Component Two submission site by mid-July 2019. The URL for this portal when it opens is: Comp2 Submission Site

The EEOC will be notifying filers prior to the launch of the portal and providing FAQs and other materials to assist filers with the submission of Component 2 data.

The EEOC expects that a helpdesk will be fully operational starting by June 17, 2019. The contact information for the helpdesk is as follows:

Email: EEOCcompdata@norc.org

Toll Free: (877) 324-6214

Note that federal contractors with 50-99 employees are required to file the EEO-1 Survey Component One, but are not required to file the EEO-1 Survey Component Two

The EEOC has not yet revealed exactly what data will be required, and the requirements could change from earlier discussions.  Also, there is still appeals and litigation pending relative to this reporting.  We are advising all filers to wait for specifics from EEOC before working to gather any data and do not rush to submit. We feel confident that deadlines will be granted.  However, correct EEO-1 category assignment will be imperative; this will be the basis of salary comparison.  If we do your AAP, this is something we work with you on regularly.  

The HRConsultant is available to assist with EEO-1 Component Two submissions and EEO-1 review. Since we are uncertain about the time and complexity of this project, we will be billing on an hourly rate. Email for details: terri@thehrconsultant.com



OFCCP Compliance Checks

The first wave of compliance checks have been mailed out and we’ve assisted our first client with this request. 30 days are given for a response and the request is easy to gather and mail. You can allow them to come on-site, but who wants to invite the government over to play?

The request asks for:

  • Prior year AAP results - we recommend sending goal attainment analyses, vets hiring rate and also disability utilization

  • Examples of job advertisements with EEO tagline and verification you are listing with state employment services

  • Examples of accommodations for individuals with disabilities

  • OFCCP will also check the General Services Administration System for Award Management database to determine if a contractor has self‐certified that it has AAPs


EEOC Seminar 

Our founder, Terri Swain, will be speaking about high risk EEO violation areas (hiring, paying, promoting and firing) at the EEOC Technical Assistance Program in Dallas on August 7, 2019. See the link for registration and for information on this always informative workshop.

Seminar Signup and Info


National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) Conference

We will be attending the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) conference in Milwaukee at the end of July. During this conference we’ll hear from EEOC and OFCCP leadership, as well as top thought leaders. Learn more and sign up here: NILG Conference

This is a great conference for EEO/AA practitioners to attend. We’ll be posting updates as we hear them on facebook.

Be sure to follow us https://www.facebook.com/thehrconsultant/

April 2019 Newsletter

BREAKING:  EEO-1 PAY COMPONENT DUE SEPTEMBER 3

Component 1 Due May 31

The EEO-1's controversial Component 2, requiring reporting of pay by EEO-1 codes and salary bands within those categories, has been up in the air for several years now and has been the subject of litigation   This week the judge ruled that the EEOC must collect it by September 30, 2019.  The judge's order also stipulated that EEOC will have to collect a second year of data and has to choose between 2017 or 2019 calendar year data and let the court know by May 3.  The compensation report is supposed to be posted by mid July to give employers the opportunity to file it.  

The deadline to submit Component 1 - the traditional race/gender report remains May 31, 2019.  

The HR Consultant is available to assist clients with their May 2019 EEO-1 submissions and will continue to update clients on developments related to the submission of Component 2 compensation data. 


Are you on the OFCCP’s Corporate Scheduling List?

Contractors and subcontractors need to review the list, as the OFCCP will no longer send individuals CSAL’s through the mail.  Listed contractors should receive notice through e-mail.  

The OFCCP is making fast and furious changes to how it audits federal contractors and subcontractors.  Expect the volume of audits to increase 3 and 5 fold over the coming years. Also, they are asking to make changes to the scheduling letters that include:

  • break downs by ethnic races 

  • adverse impact analysis for veterans

  • disabled in applicant flow/hires.  

We will keep you posted on these developments and share our experiences with the agency as we enter this brave new world.  


There are three kinds of audits - Establishment, 503 FOCUSED review, and Compliance Checks are making a comeback.  

  • The OFCCP is taking comments on the proposed new Scheduling Letters - view them and make your voice known. Comments will be taken until June 11, 2019.   Scheduling Letters Comments

Action Items: 

  • Make sure that your AAP is produced on time and is up to date. 

  • When you receive it, please review all data to assure accuracy. 


OFCCP is INFLEXIBLE with extensions. 
 They are sending show cause notices if you don’t provide your AAP within the 30 day window, even if it traveled around the company for two weeks before it landed on your desk.  


Extensions for support documents have only been granted for 1-2 weeks in our recent experience. 


OFCCP and ODEP Insights for Disability and Inclusion Best Practices

The OFCCP and ODEP (Office of Disability Employment Policy) met this month to discuss disability and inclusion.  Citing the low labor participation rate for individuals with disabilities compared to the general population and the large disability wage gap, Director Leen (ODEP) confirmed there will be Section 503 Focused Reviews in every OFCCP CSAL list moving forward.

To prepare for a Section 503 Focused Review, contractors should visit the OFCCP’s Section 503 Resource page as well as engage with ODEP to put into place best practices.

Review:  Section 503 Resource page

ODEP:  Best Practices

Action Item:  

As far as outreach goes, emphasis should be placed on disability recruitment - this is a focus area for the agency and has bipartisan support. 

Added bonus: Many of our clients are struggling with the low unemployment rate and ability to attract and retain quality candidates.  Tapping into “differently abled” communities can be a win-win. 


Sexual Harassment charges up 13%

There has been a significant impact of the #MeToo movement in the number of sexual harassment and retaliation charges filed with the agency.   Interestingly, overall charges went down from 84,000 in 2017 to 76,000 in 2018.  But sexual harassment charges were up 13%

Retaliation was again the type of discrimination charge most frequently filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in fiscal year 2018, with 50% of total charges.  


Combatting all forms of workplace harassment remains a top priority of the EEOC.

 Action Items:

  • Review and update all sexual harassment policies 

  • Assure employees are made aware of these policies

  • Conduct in person training for managers and employees

  • All allegations of harassment are promptly investigated

  • Steps are taken to assure no retaliation is taking place

Learn more about the EEOC best practices and initiatives to prevent workplace harassment; significantly EEOC has found that on-line training is not effective in this space:  Best Practices

The HR Consultant Services include Respectful Work Environment Training and Third Party Investigations.  Read more about these services on our website:  https://www.thehrconsultant.com/services


April Update:

EEOC Announces Pay Data Collection Plans: 2017 and 2018 Data will be collected by September 30

Component 2 Pay Reporting drama continues!  

Barring any kind of appeal, EEOC plans to open the portal mid July so that employers can submit pay data for 2018 as well as 2017. We have not yet seen pay data reporting instructions but will stay on top of it. The grids will have salary bands for counts within EEO-1 categories and within those bands by race/gender. There are a lot of unanswered questions about this reporting with a government agency that is not known for moving fast, especially at a time when top leadership isn’t in place.  So stay tuned.  

Filing deadline for Component 1 remains May 31…the EEOC will only allow a two week extension (vs. a month) for this report and it must be requested on their website:  EEO-1 Survey

March 2019 Newsletter

BREAKING NEWS: Judge Vacates Stay of EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Tool

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has found the government did not have proper justification to stay implementation of the EEOC’s pay data collection tool.  As a result, the court has vacated the 2017 stay and ordered the previous approval of the revised EEO-1 form shall be in effect.

As a reminder:  EEOC has extended the filing deadline by two months.  The new deadline by which to file is May 31, 2019.


The pay collection tool has NOT been added to the 2018 filing. We expect that the pay collection issue will continue to evolve. Without an EEOC Commissioner or Chief Counsel confirmed/appointed yet, we do not know what the implications will be.  For now, file EEO-1 as usual and we’ll keep you updated.  


ACTION ITEM: Reviewing compensation equity in your organization is always a proactive measure. 


NEW!  Struggling with disability outreach requirements? 

Check out the OFFCCP Section 3 Landing Page developed in advance of focused disability reviews

The landing page is intended to provide contractors with helpful information and assistance in implementing best practices and increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities. 

So what does this mean for you?  OFCCP's new Section 503 landing page will serve as a resource center for contractors. You can find:

Disability Inclusion best practicesDocuments explaining what to expect during a Focused ReviewImportant OFCCP contact informationSample of the Focused Review Scheduling LetterFAQ’s

Click Here to Visit OFCCP's Section 503 Landing Page


Compliance Assistance for Upcoming Section 503 Focused Reviews

The OFCCP has announced new resources to assist with the upcoming round of Focused Reviews aimed at compliance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act for individuals with disabilities. The first round of Section 503 Focused Reviews will take place at contractors’ corporate headquarters locations. 

The OFCCP is affording contractors an opportunity to obtain compliance assistance and otherwise get ready to receive actual audit scheduling letters beginning approximately 45 days later.  Not all contractors will be selected immediately; each district office has discretion to decide how many scheduling letters to issue and when to issue them.  Some contractors could be scheduled as early as May; others later.

 This is the letter that will begin a Focused Section 503 Review: Focused Review Letter

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers page: Q & A 

There is also a Best Practices page:  Best Practices

The OFCCP will not be looking at personnel activity data (hires, applicants, promotions, terminations) or pay data during these Section 503 Focused Reviews. Contractors will not have to submit that data initially, but OFCCP is leaving itself the option to review the data as part of the audit.


Free Webinar March 25th 12-1pm: Disability:IN Central Texas presents JAN - Creating Inclusive Workplaces

This seminar will provide some great information and can be part of your good faith efforts towards disability inclusion.  

Louis Orslene, Job Accommodations Network (JAN) - Tools, Techniques, and Technologies for Creating Inclusive Workplaces: 1 HRCI credit

Gain access to tools and techniques included within the JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit featuring JAN’s deep knowledge in an online platform.Obtain information needed to create inclusive workplaces while complying with disability-related employment laws. Learn of inclusionary technologies such as the Mobile Accommodation Solution App, a first-generation mobile workplace accommodation case management app.

Sign up here:  Seminar Signup


CSALs will no longer be mailed, instead will be posted on the OFCCP website.

 

CSALs let you know which facilities are scheduled for audit in the upcoming year.

OFCCP has announced that it would release the next round of CSALs in the second half of March on its website with actual scheduling letters to follow by mail beginning 15 days later.   

Check the List!


Spotlight on Service: Affirmative Action Planning

The OFCCP’s new leadership is extremely inflexible with deadlines when audited.  

If audit materials are not turned in within the 30 days, they can and ARE issuing show cause notices.  No one wants to get on the wrong footing at the start of an audit.

 

Let our team help you put your Affirmative Action plan together in a compliant and expedient manner. Our skilled consultants have years of experience in the field and understand the impact of your data as it relates to an audit. 

We provide FREE audit assistance as part of our plan preparation. Call for quote.

February 2019 Newsletter

EEO-1 Filing Extended to May 31, 2019

Due to the partial government shutdown, the 2018 EEO-1 filing portal will open “in early March” for filing of 2018 reports.  As a result of the delayed opening, EEOC has extended the filing deadline by two months.  

Reminder, passwords are changed each year. If you have changed your certifying official or had a merger/acquisition/divestiture, there are steps you must take prior to filing your report.  

EEO-1 Filing Portal


As a reminder, we can assist you with EEO-1 filing. Email or call for quote: info@thehrconsultant.com. 817-887-8009

Focused Review Update: 

OFCCP to look at Disabled and Vets compliance

Last August, the OFCCP issued a new Directive (DIR 2018-04), stating it would conduct “Focused Reviews” that centered on compliance with AAP requirements under Section 503 (Individuals with Disabilities) and VEVRAA (Veterans).

The next round of CSALs, approximately 500, will include notices for these more limited Focused Reviews under Section 503. 


There is a revised Scheduling Letter for Focused Reviewswhich is just a pared down version of the previous form for your review.  

ACTION ITEM:  Continue to work on your outreach program for Vets and Disabled! 



Our founder, Terri Swain, will be speaking at the EEOC's Technical Assistance Program on August 7th in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Mark your calendars....more details to come!

January 2019 Newsletter

OFCCP is Open During Shutdown

During the government shut down, OFCCP is open (was funded prior to shut down) and EEOC is closed.  If you have an open EEOC charge, adhere to deadlines but don’t expect to talk to anyone at the agency.

OFCCP recently moved Acting Director Craig Leen to Director of the Agency.  He has been making many fast and furious changes. You can read all about them here:

Read More

Joint Employment and Federal Contractors

Joint employment, and the issues it brings, has been around for a while. But with the NLRB decision last year in Browning Ferris II, the scope of what it means to be a joint employer has broadened. And while there is no regulation spelling out this new standard, the DOL and OFCCP are jumping on board.

Read More

Key Changes to OFCCP Scheduling Letter

Audit requests in 2015 will look different and ask for more information, as the scheduling letter has changed. Learn about he key changes in our blog post, or reach out to our team for more information!

Read More

Top Three Employee Errors in the Workplace

Sure, our employers make plenty of mistakes.  Our bosses can be demanding, insensitive, and provide plenty of happy hour ranting material.  But individual employees also can add fuel to the workplace fire. Here are our top picks of situations that make work life crazier than it needs to be and some suggested guidance.

Read More

6 Internal Investigation Mistakes

As a former EEOC investigator, gone corporate then gone consultant…I’ve reviewed my share of internal discrimination investigations. Some are impressive, some are epic and well, others shouldn’t have bothered. Here’s our dirty half- dozen mistakes:

Read More

10 things to do NOW to stay compliant with OFCCP regs

The OFCCP is chaging and agressively reviewing your employment practices. The Best Defense Is Always A Good Offense. Make sure you are on top of your Compliance Documents and read our top 10 things to do now in order to stay compliant with OFCCP regulations.

Read More

2011 OFCCP review

WOW! 2012 was an interesting year on the OFCCP front. Take a look at our latest blog post to see what we experienced and what to expect in 2012.

Read More

Addressing the 13%

The US Department of Labor states that the unemployment rate for the disabled is 13% – 1.5x the rate of those without disabilities. In order to address that high rate, the OFCCP is proposing a 7% disability hiring goal for Affirmative Action employers – strengthening the Rehabilitation Act.

Read More

The best defense is a good offense

In football and human resources (still hurting from that Cowboys loss last night!), having an offensive strategy is imperative, particularly in the compliance area.  Many companies receive their affirmative action plans, give them a quick glance then stick them on a shelf just praying that this is a year they won’t be audited.

Read More

The Times They are A Changing

The shift in policies of the Department of Labor under Hilda Solis’s leadership has finally trickled down into the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP). As a result, there will be less compliance reviews but those scheduled will be rigorous and more on-sites will be held. Click inside to learn more.

Read More

I took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights….

Retaliation.It’s funny in a country song, but in the workplace…it can mean serious trouble. The EEOC reports that in 2010, that for the first time in its history, Retaliation Charges were the most filed EEOC charge – representing 36.3% of all charges filed – that’s greater than 1 in 3!!!

Read More