CAI was pleased to have John Burgin of the Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. law firm provide his expertise and insight on Affirmative Action and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to our members as part of our free, members-only Ask the Expert series.
Here are some of the important points from the presentation:
1. What is the OFCCP? The OFCCP is responsible for ensuring that employers doing business with the federal government comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination.
2. New OFCCP resources and priorities. The OFCCP received a 25 percent budget increase for 2010 that includes the hiring of more than 200 new compliance officers. As a result, it is expected that the number of compliance evaluations will jump from an average of 4,000 to 7,000 per year.
3. Who must have a written affirmative action plan? If your company has 50 or more employees and a federal government contract or subcontract to provide more than $50,000 a year in goods and services, then you are obligated to prepare annual affirmative action plans and to monitor closely your employment percentages of women and minorities compared to what is available in labor markets in which you operate.
4. Compliance timeline. From the time you accept a government contract, you have 120 days to put your affirmative action programs in place.
5. Hiring and compensation. Given the surge of litigation involving discrepancies in compensation systems, employers are particularly advised to be proactive in assessing their compliance. In addition to scrutiny of compensation by race and gender, there is a focus on low-wage and entry-level jobs.
6. Define your hiring process: Who is an applicant? Unless the application process is entirely a paper process, ensure the applicant data meets the four criteria of OFCCP’s definition of an Internet applicant
7. Know your data. Employers need to know what data they have available and what is being tracked prior to any OFCCP audit. Analyze your data on a regular basis.
If you have questions or would like more information about the OFCCP and affirmative action plans, please call CAI at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
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