August 2019 Newsletter

by Terri Swain

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. 

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