Main Office: 972.369.0015
NEWS FEED
DATE:
April 25, 2017
Subject:
Kairos' Project Manager, Christie Hermann, is presenting at the St. Louis ILG

On Thursday, April 27, Kairos' Project Manager, Christie Hermann, will share her talents in "Taking Your Data Crunching Skills to the Next Level" with the St. Louis ILG. HR professionals and practitioners can enhance their capabilities to track, monitor and analyze their AAP and support data more accurately and efficiently. Techniques will be demonstrated to identify and analyze potential pay disparities before submitting your compensation data for an audit or the Equal Pay Report. The use of pivot tables will teach attendees how to find data inconsistencies and "scrub" data. The use of VLOOKUP will compare two worksheets of data, use filtering for finding small pieces of data in large data files and finding duplicates in your worksheets in seconds. The session will close with how to use mail merge for getting those recruitment and outreach letters out in short order and have documentation available for audits to reflect compliance.

DATE:
February 1, 2017
Subject:
Disability Self-ID Form Update

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the 'new' Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form (CC-305). There are no changes to this revision other than an updated expiration date of 1/31/2020. Federal Contractors should begin using the new form as soon as possible. The new form can be found in English and Spanish as well as multiple formats on the Kairos Client Portal.

It is important to remember that the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form (CC-305) cannot be changed or altered in any way.

If you have any questions concerning this communication please contact your Kairos representative, or Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com, or call Kairos' office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
January 23, 2017
Subject:
Celebrating the life of Ed Robers, a Disability Activist

Today we celebrate the life of Ed Roberts, a Disability Activist, who would have turned 78. At the age of 14, Roberts contracted Polio which resulted in paralysis and having to spend his nights sleeping in an iron lung. Roberts not only accepted his disabilities, but he went on to build up a positive image and bright future for disabled people. Roberts went on to become the Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, proving not only can you work with disabilities, but you can be a shining star that makes the world better for everyone.

DATE:
September 23, 2016
Subject:
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Hosting Hiring Veterans Conference

On September 29, 2016 the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is hosting a Hiring Veterans conference for employers from 8:30am-4:00pm. The agenda will address:

  • "How to Find and Recruit Veterans and Transitioning Military Personnel"
  • "Assessing Your Compliance - How to Ensure Your A_rmative Action Programs Meet OFCCP Standards"
  • "Best Practices for Employing Veterans"
  • "Understanding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA)"

Download Conference Information

DATE:
August 16, 2016
Subject:
OFCCP Sex Discrimination Regulations in Effect August 15, 2016

The New OFCCP Sex Discrimination Regulations go into effect on August 15, 2016 and rescind the outdated Sex Discrimination Guidelines of 1970. The new regulations are designed to ensure that federal contractors and subcontractors do not discriminate against applicants or employees because of their sex. The regulations address many of the barriers to equal opportunity and fair pay that workers face in the workplace today such as pay discrimination; sexual harassment; lack of accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions; discrimination because of employees’ gender identity; and discrimination based on stereotypes about sex roles, such as who the primary caregiver is in a family. The OFCCP also updated the regulations to incorporate current Title VII jurisprudence to facilitate contractor understanding and compliance. The regulations also provide examples of best practices for prevention of these kinds of discrimination.

For more information about the rule please visit the Department of Labor.

DATE:
July 26, 2016
Subject:
Nicolas Paul And Christie Hermann To Present At National ILG Conference - Charlotte, North Carolina

On Tuesday, August 2, Kairos’ Director of Operations, Nicolas Paul, and IT Project Manager, Christie Hermann, will present at the 2016 ILG National Conference, First in Flight, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Paul will present a session entitled “Affirmative Action 101” while Mrs. Hermann will present “Taking Your Data Crunching Skills to a New Level”.

Mr. Paul and Mrs. Hermann regularly present compliance strategies to Federal Contractors covering new and forthcoming regulatory changes at local, regional and national ILG Conferences. As a Kairos client you can receive a complimentary copy of the “Affirmative Action 101” and “Taking Your Data Crunching Skills to a New Level” presentations by emailing experts@kairosservicesinc.com or calling 972-369-0015.

The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) is a non-profit organization formed in 1992 for the main purposes of improving communications between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Industry Liaison Groups (ILGs); and, enhancing the quality and overall effectiveness of Industry Liaison Groups. The NILG Board supports approximately 61 ILGs which are comprised of small, mid-size and large federal contractors and subcontractors across the country. Local ILGs are in every Department of Labor (DOL) region. No other employer association has a broader base of constituents focused on EO/AA matters. Since its beginning, the National Industry Liaison Group has continued to improve and enhance its structure, purpose, and membership; and has evolved to address new challenges and opportunities.

DATE:
June 22, 2016
Subject:
OFCCP's National Annual Benchmark for VEVRAA Lowered to 6.9 Percent

OFCCP has announced that the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) benchmark has been lowered to 6.9 percent, from the previous 7 percent benchmark. National and state information has also been updated in the VEVRAA Benchmark Database for federal contractors and subcontractors who calculate an individualized hiring benchmark using the five-factor method.

The Annual National Benchmark, as well as data for calculating individual hiring benchmarks, can be found at this link.

If you have any questions whatsoever concerning these changes, please contact Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
June 7, 2016
Subject:
EEOC Increases Monetary Penalties for Posting Violations

Pursuant to section 711 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), incorporated by reference in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), covered employers must post notices describing the pertinent provisions of the abovementioned Acts in prominent and accessible places where notices to employees and applicants are customarily maintained. Employers who fail to comply with the posting requirements are now subject to a penalty of $525 per violation, a 150% increase from the previous $210 fine. Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, federal agencies are now required annually to adjust the maximum civil penalty imposed by the agency’s statues with a maximum adjustment of 150% for the first adjustment made under the 2015 Act1. With this new regulatory mandate to submit annual increases it’s likely the penalty will be steadily increased in the coming years to nearly $800 per violation2.

Kairos urges you to ensure your internal (intranet, breakrooms, etc.) and external (Career Pages, Online Application Systems, etc.) postings are compliant and up-to-date. The most current postings and requirements can be found on the Kairos Client Portal.

If you have any questions concerning this communication please contact your Kairos representative, Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com, or call Kairos’ office at 972-369-0015.

1. Based on the mathematical calculation for inflation from 1964 to 2015, the inflation-adjusted penalty is $765. However, since the penalty was $210 previously, the adjustment can only be increased by 150% capping this year’s penalty violation at $525. ($210 x 150% = $525). Therefore, it is expected that adjustments for the next year will approximate the $765 figure.

2. See “Adjusting the Penalty for Violations of Notice Posting Requirements”, Section “II. Mathematical Calculation” for further explanation. (Federal Register, Vol. 81, No 106, Thursday, June 2, 2016) https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-06-02/pdf/2016-12999.pdf

DATE:
May 11, 2016
Subject:
Gender-based Hiring Discrimination Settlement

The OFCCP just announced that a federal food service contractor, Gordon Food Service Inc., has employed gender-discriminatory hiring practices for entry-level warehouse jobs in several states. This is the second time Gordon Food Service Inc. has settled with the OFCCP for discriminatory employment practices, the first time settling for $405,000 and most recently for $1.85M. The OFCCP found that Gordon Food Service Inc employed gender discriminatory hiring practices, resulting in systemic discrimination against 926 qualified female warehouse job seekers. While Gordon Food Service Inc has never admitted liability, they will pay a total of $1.85 million to female applicants, hire 37 female applicants and stop using discriminatory hiring practices, including strength tests. For more information, please follow this link.

DATE:
April 28, 2016
Subject:
OFCCP Directive for Functional Affirmative Action Programs

The OFCCP created a directive regarding applying for and maintaining Functional Affirmative Action Program (FAAP) Agreements. The directive can be found on this link.

The OFCCP also announced an informational webinar outlining functional affirmative action programs (FAAP) and how contractors can apply for and maintain FAAPs. An hour-long, informational webinar will be held on May 19, 2016. To register, please follow the link.

DATE:
February 1, 2016
Subject:
EEOC Proposes Revision to EEO-1 Reports - Compensation Data

On Friday, January 29, President Obama announced EEOC's proposal to amend the annual EEO-1 report by adding pay and related information. The proposal would require employers with 100 or more employees to submit their annual EEO-1 report to include pay data from employee W-2 earnings as well as hours worked. The first submission under the proposal is due September 30, 2017.

EEOC's decision to utilize W-2 earnings will provide the agency with a more comprehensive picture of employee pay as it accounts for factors such as commissions, tips, taxable fringe benefits, overtime, shift differentials, and bonuses. While utilizing the existing EEO-1 job categories, the proposed EEO-1 report will also include 12 pay bands for compensation data submission (click here to view their sample). The EEO-1 will also require collection of the total number of hours worked by the employees included in each EEO-1 pay band cell and by race, ethnicity and sex. EEOC maintains pay bands will generate more reliable aggregated data to support more meaningful analysis in determining pay discrimination.

Kairos suggests employers begin evaluating their pay practices to ensure compensation disparities do not exist based on race, sex or ethnicity. Where differences exist, Kairos recommends gathering appropriate documentation to explain the disparity in the event of an OFCCP or EEOC audit.

Anyone who wants to comment on this EEOC proposal has 60 days after publication to do so, or until April 1, 2016. Comments may be submitted on-line, by mailing a hard copy (submitted to Bernadette Wilson, Acting Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE., Washington, DC 20507), or by facsimile transmission (202-663-4114).

In the coming weeks and months Kairos will provide additional guidance for our clients based on this proposal and offer strategies for preparing your 2017 submission. If you have any questions in the interim please do not hesitate to contact our office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
January 19, 2016
Subject:
OFCCP Releases Pay Transparency Poster

OFCCP has released a formatted poster containing the language necessary for complying with the Pay Transparency Regulation’s electronic and physical posting requirements. The poster can be accessed and downloaded at the following web address.

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision (January 2016 formatted version)

REMINDER: The provisions apply to covered contracts entered into or modified on or after the rule’s effective date of January 11th, 2016. Modified contracts are contracts with any alteration in their terms and conditions, including supplemental agreements, amendments, and extensions.

Please contact Nick Paul at 972-369-0015 or Nick@KairosSerivcesInc.com if you have any additional questions related to the new Pay Transparency Regulations.

DATE:
December 18, 2015
Subject:
OFCCP Clarifies Interpretation of “Active Duty Wartime”, Protected Veteran Category

The OFCCP recently posted two new FAQs related to the “AM I A PROTECTED VETERAN?” infographic released last month. These FAQs clarify the agency’s interpretation of who is considered a “protected veteran” under the “active duty wartime” category. Specifically, the OFCCP has clarified their interpretation of who is a “protected veteran,” aligning their interpretation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which includes veterans serving during a “period of war.”

If you have any questions concerning this Executive Order, please contact Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
October 30, 2015
Subject:
President Obama Signs Paid Sick Leave Executive Order for Federal Contractors

An Executive Order signed last month requires Federal contractors to provide workers with up to seven days (56 hours) or more of paid sick leave annually, including the ability to carry over accrued leave from one year to the next. The Executive Order will go into effect on January 1, 2017 and requires the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations to implement the order by September 30, 2016.

The Order applies to all employees whose wages are governed by the Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon Act or Fair Labor Standards Act, including employees who qualify for an exemption from its minimum wage and overtime provisions. The Order extends to all new Federal contracts, contract-like instruments and solicitations (collectively referred to as “contracts”). It is important to note that the Order explicitly states “Nothing shall excuse noncompliance with or supersede any applicable Federal or State law, any applicable law or municipal ordinance, or a collective bargaining agreement requiring greater paid sick leave or leave rights than those established under this order.”

Details about the Order include:

  • Not less than one hour of paid sick leave is earned for every thirty hours of work
  • Unused leave can be carried over from year to year
  • Unused leave will be reinstated for employees rehired within twelve months after separation
  • Sick leave may be used for preventative care and for care of “close association[s]”
  • The Order does not require payment for accrued sick leave at separation

If you have any questions concerning this Executive Order, please contact Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
October 26, 2015
Subject:
EEO-1 Filing Deadline

This is a reminder the EEO-1 Survey is open and this Friday is the rapidly approaching deadline. Federal contractors are required to file EEO-1 reports if they meet the requirements. In the event of an OFCCP audit you should expect to be asked to provide copies of your reports; so be sure you download or print a copy of your final certified reports. Also remember the closer to the deadline you file the more likely technical issues will arise and the agency will be unavailable to assist you in time to file by the deadline.

If you would like us to review your reports and compare them to your AAPs for consistency please let us know by Wednesday of this week.

Kairos Services now offers EEO-1 (and Vets-4212) report preparation and filing services. If you would like us to submit your reports this week please email or call us for a quote today.

Please contact Kairos Services with questions or comments at 972-369-0015

DATE:
October 13, 2015
Subject:
Disability Inclusion Starts With You

Ever wish you had a video that explained why you're asking employees to self-identify disability status? Look no further! The OFCCP just released a one minute video detailing why Federal Contractors are required to ask and how it benefits employees.

DATE:
October 6, 2015
Subject:
Pay Transparency Final Rule

On September 11, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13665. The Final Rule, which takes effect on January 11, 2016, amends the existing regulations that implement Executive Order 11246 including the Equal Opportunity Clause. Paragraphs (3) through (7) of the Equal Opportunity Clause are re-designated as paragraphs (4) through (8). A new paragraph (3) is added and reads as follows.

“The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant. This provision shall not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of such employee’s essential job functions discloses the compensation of such other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a formal complaint or charge, in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or is consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.”

Note: This equal opportunity clause applies to contracts entered into or modified on or after January 11, 2016.

Please contact Nicolas Paul with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at nick@kairosservicesinc.com for more information.

DATE:
September 21, 2015
Subject:
OFCCP Jurisdictional Thresholds

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released an easy to read infographic detailing jurisdictional thresholds for Federal Contractors. This infographic details specific monetary and employee thresholds for the following three areas of compliance enforced by the OFCCP:

  • Executive Order 11246
  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 , as amended (VEVRAA)

Please contact Kairos Services with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email Norma Brito (norma@kairosservicesinc.com) .

DATE:
September 10, 2015
Subject:
OFCCP Announces a Final Rule to Promote Pay Transparency

In 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13665, promoting pay transparency and openness, making it possible for workers and job applicants to share information about their pay and compensation without fear of discrimination. On September 10, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing that order. This Final Rule takes effect on January 11, 2016, 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register, and amends the existing regulations that implement EO 11246.

The Final Rule amends the EO 11246 implementing regulations by:

  • Requiring that certain information be included in covered federal contracts and subcontracts. The Final Rule requires that the equal opportunity clause included in covered federal contracts and subcontracts be amended to include that federal contractors and subcontractors must refrain from discharging, or otherwise discriminating against, employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants. An exception exists where the employee or applicant makes the disclosure based on information obtained in the course of performing his or her essential job functions;
  • Requiring that federal contractors incorporate a prescribed nondiscrimination provision into their existing employee manuals or handbooks and disseminate the nondiscrimination provision to employees and to job applicants;
  • Defining key terms such as compensation, compensation information, and essential job functions as used in EO 11246, as amended; and
  • Providing employers with two defenses to an allegation of discrimination: a general defense, which could be based on the enforcement of a "workplace rule" that does not prohibit the discussion of compensation information; and an essential job functions defense.

Please contact Kairos Services with questions or comments at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
August 17, 2015
Subject:
Am I A Protected Veteran?

The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), as amended (38 U.S.C. § 4212), prohibits discrimination against protected veterans.

Under VEVRAA, a veteran may be classified as a ''disabled veteran,'' ''recently separated veteran,'' ''active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran,'' or ''Armed Forces service medal veteran.''

OFCCP has recently released the following infographic "AM I A PROTECTED VETERAN" to help applicants/employees of Federal Contractors navigate the self-identification process.

Please contact Nicolas Paul with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at nick@kairosservicesinc.com.

DATE:
June 10, 2015
Subject:
Annual Reporting

It's not too early for companies to start preparing for the annual report filing season. Federal contractors are required to file EEO-1 and VETS-4212 reports if they meet the requirements. In the event of an OFCCP audit you should expect to be asked to provide copies of your reports.

Beginning with the 2015 filing season there are signification changes to the VETS filing.

  • There is no longer a VETS-100 form.
  • The VETS-100A form is replaced with the VETS-4212 form.
  • Reporting of protected veterans will be by EEO-1 category and total number of protected veterans, rather than as individual veteran categories as previously filed.

Kairos Services is here to help! We can review your reports and compare them to your AAP for consistency in reporting. If you are interested we can also prepare your reports for you. Please contact Norma Brito (norma@kairosservicesinc.com) for questions and prices.

DATE:
May 21, 2015
Subject:
AUDIT ALERT: Good Faith Efforts

OFCCP's compliance officers have taken a stronger stance on contractor Good Faith Efforts (GFEs). OFCCP's measure of compliance has fundamentally shifted away from their typical job posting/recruitment effort requests. Now, OFCCP is requesting information not only related to women and minorities, but individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. Contractors must now track recruitment source/agency names, contact names and phone numbers, and the group(s) targeted by particular agencies/sources. In addition, Contractors must evaluate the effectiveness of the results of their outreach efforts.

Kairos has developed Compliance Toolkits designed to assist Federal contractors in listing, tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts for both protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. If you have not done so already, please request a copy of your compliance toolkit today!

Please contact Nicolas Paul (nick@kairosservicesinc.com) or Norma Brito (norma@kairosservicesinc.com) with questions or comments. Feel free to call if you prefer.

DATE:
May 15, 2015
Subject:
AUDIT ALERT: Website Compliance

It appears OFCCP's compliance officers have taken a renewed interest in contractor website compliance. Kairos would like to remind you that the following information must be included on the homepage/career pages of your website.

  • Updated EEO Tagline
  • Language for Reasonable Accommodation Requests
  • Language for the "EEO is the Law" Poster

Ensure you update your EEO Tagline on your website/careers page to one of the following (for home and careers webpages)

"All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status."

OR the more abbreviated reference:

"Equal Employment Opportunity/M/F/disability/protected veteran status"

Language for applicant reasonable accommodation requests (for careers webpage)

COMPANY is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail xxxx@COMPANY.com or call: xxx-xxx-xxxx. We will make a determination on your request for reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

Language for "EEO is the Law" Poster (for careers webpage)

The law requires COMPANY to post a notice describing the Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination. For information regarding your legal rights and protections, please click on the following link: EEO is the Law

Please contact Nicolas Paul with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at nick@kairosservicesinc.com

DATE:
April 22, 2015
Subject:
OFCCP's National Annual Benchmark for VEVRAA Lowered to 7 Percent

OFCCP has announced that the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) benchmark has been lowered to 7.0 percent, from the previous 7.2 percent benchmark. National and state information has also been updated in the VEVRAA Benchmark Database for federal contractors and subcontractors who calculate an individualized hiring benchmark using the five-factor method.

The Annual National Benchmark, as well as data for calculating individual hiring benchmarks, can be found if you click here.

Effective March 24, 2014, contractors required by VEVRAA to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) must also establish a hiring benchmark for protected veterans each year or adopt the national benchmark provided by OFCCP. Under either approach, contractors must compare the percentage of employees who are protected veterans in each of their establishments to the hiring benchmark set for that establishment. Contractors should use the result of this comparison when assessing the effectiveness of their veteran outreach and recruitment efforts. This VEVRAA Benchmark Database provides additional information regarding the establishment of hiring benchmarks and easy access to the national and state data that may be needed to establish these benchmarks.

DATE:
January 21, 2015
Subject:
OFCCP Releases FAQs on Veteran Self-Identification & New VETS-4212 Form

In response to contractor inquiries, OFCCP has posted two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the new VETS-4212 reporting form and the requirement to invite voluntary self-identification of protected veteran status under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). One FAQ addresses whether contractors must continue to invite self-identification by category of protected veteran at the post-offer stage. The other FAQ addresses contractors' ability to choose to continue to invite self-identification by category of protected veteran. Please find the OFCCP FAQs below:

1. The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) replaced the VETS-100A form with a new VETS-4212 form. The new form requires federal contractors to report aggregate data on the number of protected veterans that were newly hired and the number they employed. This is different from the previous requirement that contractors report the data by the number of veterans in each of the individual categories for protected veterans. To comply with OFCCP's VEVRAA requirements, must contractors continue to invite applicants to self-identify using the individual categories at the post-offer stage?

Answer: No. The VEVRAA requirement, at 41 CFR 60-300.42(b), mandates that contractors invite post-offer self-identification as a protected veteran. This provision is specifically linked to the scope of the VETS reporting requirement. Accordingly, since the new VETS-4212 report no longer requires contractors to provide this information by the individual protected veteran categories, contractors are not required to invite self-identification by category in order to comply with VEVRAA's post-offer invitation requirement. Rather, contractors need only invite those offered a job to indicate whether they are protected veterans under any of the VEVRAA categories.

2. May a contractor continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as a protected veteran using the individual categories for protected veterans even though the new VETS-4212 form asks only for aggregated protected veteran data?

Answer: Yes. Though not required, contractors may choose to continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify the specific category or categories of protected veteran to which they belong at the post-offer stage, so long as the contractor also provides VETS with the aggregate protected veteran data required by the VETS-4212 form.

DATE:
January 16, 2015
Subject:
Disability Job Fair & Symposium in Austin Texas on Friday, February 6, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP), Independent Living Experience (ILE), the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), and Workforce Solutions Capital Area invite you to attend a free Symposium and Job Fair focused on recruiting and hiring individuals with disabilities.

The fair is a community outreach event in the Austin area to educate employers and other stakeholders on the changing recruitment and accommodation responsibilities for hiring individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. OFCCP will present information related to the recent changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) regulations. In addition, partnering agencies such as ILE, DARS and Workforce Solutions Capital Area will brief employers on the services and support they provide to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining the education and training needed to find competitive employment.

Download Fair Information

DATE:
January 9, 2015
Subject:
CONGRATULATIONS, SHAFEEQA GIARRATANI!

Kairos is extremely pleased to announce that Shafeeqa Watkins Giarratani has been promoted to Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. Kairos Services partners with Shafeeqa to provide exceptional affirmative action and EEO services to companies throughout the country. Please join us as we congratulate Shafeeqa on her much deserved promotion.

About Shafeeqa

DATE:
December 9, 2014
Subject:
Executive Order 13672 Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On July 21, 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13672 prohibiting employment discrimination by federal contractors and subcontractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. On December 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the Final Rule implementing the regulations and amending Executive Order 11246 providing protection for employees and applicants for employment against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, Executive Order 13672 amended Executive Order 11246 by substituting the phrase "sex or national origin" wherever that that phrase appears with "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin".

The Final Rule also requires changes to the Equal Opportunity Clause to reference this new protected group including requiring that solicitations or advertisements for employees indicate that the contractor considers all applicants for employment without regard to, using the new mandatory phrase, "sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, or national origin". Contractors may also be required to provide a statement to labor unions or agencies that state the contractor does not discriminate in employment on any of the protected bases including sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Final Rule makes it clear that "No Changes are being made to the written affirmative action program requirements of 41 CFR Part 60-2 (Supply/Service) or the affirmative action requirements contained in 60-4.3(a)(7) of the 41 CFR Part 60-4 (Construction) and thus those programs will continue to be limited to gender, race, and ethnicity". The Final Rule was published in the Federal Register today and goes into effect on April 8, 2015.

DATE:
October 2, 2014
Subject:
OFCCP COMPLIANCE CHECKS ARE BACK

The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) announced this week that the Office of Management and Budgeting (OMB) had approved the revised scheduling letter and itemized listing. We all already know this, right?

In that same news release, however, is a brief mention of a "compliance check" and contains a link to the Compliance Check Letter. Compliance Checks were one tool that OFCCP used in years past to conduct brief compliance assessments as well as a means of identifying federal contractors for full compliance evaluations based on those assessments.

For those of you not familiar with the Compliance Checks of years past, here is how the process works. OFCCP sends you a letter and requests the three items listed below. The letter says that you will receive a call from an OFCCP Compliance Officer (CO) to schedule an on-site so that the CO can inspect these three items. The new Compliance Check procedures now allow an alternative to the on-site and permits the company to submit the items by USPS or email within the 30 days.

  • Your AAP results for the preceding year (41 CFR § 60-1.12(b)).
  • Examples of job advertisements, including listings with state employment services (41 CFR § 60-1.12(a), § 60-300.80, and § 60-741.80).
  • Examples of accommodations made for persons with disabilities (41 CFR § 60-1.12(a), § 60-300.80, and § 60-741.80).

We will keep you posted as we hear more about OFCCP's approach in implementing the new Compliance Checks.

See link below for accessing the Compliance Check Letter.

OFCCP Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

DATE:
October 1, 2014
Subject:
OFCCP SCHEDULING LETTER UPDATE

As we indicated in our Kairos News Feed of September 30, 2014, the much anticipated new OFCCP Compliance Evaluation Scheduling Letter, along with the Itemized Listing, was approved by OMB on September 30, 2014. Yesterday, the OFCCP announced that the Letter and Listing became effective October 1, 2014. However, OFCCP went on to say that it will not schedule supply and service compliance evaluations between October 1 through October 15, 2014 so that contractors can use this period to review and become acquainted with the new letter and itemized listing. See link below for accessing the Compliance Evaluation Scheduling Letter.

OFCCP Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

DATE:
September 30, 2014
Subject:
The New 'Pre-Approved' Scheduling Letter

In 2011, the OFCCP proposed to the Office of Management and Budgeting (OMB) significant changes to the Scheduling Letter (and itemized listing) that is sent to Federal Contractors to initiate a compliance audit. After holding our breath for 3 years, the OFCCP announced this week that OMB has approved a new Scheduling Letter.

Some of the most substantive changes expected include:

  • The new scheduling letter, under Item 11, will require contractors to submit individualized compensation data as of the date of the contractor's workforce analysis in its AAP, to include the job title, job group and EEO-1 category for each employee.
  • Per the scheduling letter, personnel activity data will be submitted by the five specified race categories (Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and TOMs) instead of by non-minority/minority status.
  • The scheduling letter has been changed to reflect recent regulatory changes implemented by Section 503 and VEVRAA.
  • OFCCP has also defined compensation to include consideration of hours worked, incentive pay, merit increases, locality pay, and overtime.

The good news for Kairos clients is that the first two items listed above are already incorporated into our routine annual AAP preparation and audit processes and, thus, will result in no change (or burden).

One of the most significant redactions from the scheduling letter is the elimination of the proposed requirement that would force contractors to submit personnel activity data (Hires, Promotions and Terminations) by job title AND job group. Instead, the final scheduling letter will allow contractors to submit data by job title OR job group.

Upon completion of the final changes to the Letter, it appears that OMB will approve OFCCP's immediate execution of the letter.

DATE:
September 15, 2014
Subject:
GOOD NEWS - BAD NEWS - GOOD NEWS

It is with both joy and sadness that we announce that Lisa Kaiser will be pursuing her legal career through her law firm, Kaiser Law Group, PLLC. While we are grateful for our three year association and will miss her both professionally and personally, we wish her the very best in her new venture. We will, however, continue to collaborate with Lisa in various areas moving forward.

DATE:
August 19, 2014
Subject:
OFCCP Directive 2014-02 Re: Gender Identity, Transgender Status, and Sex Discrimination

See attached OFCCP Directive 2014-02 that updates OFCCP enforcement protocols and nondiscrimination guidance to clarify that the Department of Labor provides the full protection of the Federal nondiscrimination laws that it enforces to individuals on the bases of gender identity and transgender status. To review OFCCP Directive 2014-02, click on the following link.

OFCCP Directive 2014-02

DATE:
August 13, 2014
Subject:
EEO-1 and VETS 100A Filing Deadline

What a busy time of year this is! The end of summer and back to school. Many clients are nearing the end of their fiscal year or are working on their AAP data. This is also annual report time for federal contractors.

Both the EEO-1 Survey and VETS 100/100A Contractor Reporting systems are open. Federal contractors are required to file EEO-1 and VETS 100/100A reports if they meet the requirements. In the event of an OFCCP audit you should expect to be asked to provide copies of your reports. Kairos Services is here to help. We can review your reports and compare them to your AAP for consistency in reporting.

DATE:
August 8, 2014
Subject:
DOL Releases Proposed Rule to Collect Annual Compensation Data From Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposal to collect summary data on how federal contractors and subcontractors pay their employees. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in Friday's edition of the Federal Register and open for public comment from August 8 - November 6, 2014.

This could have a significant impact on your Company's workload and the results of compensation findings during OFCCP audits. We encourage our clients to read the proposed rule when it is released and submit comments. Below is the press release announcing this action. More information on the NPRM and how to comment can be found at www.dol.gov/ofccp/EPR.

DATE:
August 7, 2014
Subject:
How will Companies be selected for audits? Compensation!

No sooner did we think the new regulations for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans were the game changers; we find that OFCCP is moving toward creating a new day for compensation analysis for federal contractors and subcontractors. A review of the Conference Agenda at the ILG National Conference in Washington, DC, this week shows a multitude of workshops devoted to compensation. From Compensation 101 to How to Investigate Compensation Disparities to Equal Pay Enforcement to Moving Beyond Regression, there are plenty of compensation workshops for practitioners to select from. DOL's stunning Press Release announcing the proposed rulemaking which intends to require annual reporting to OFCCP by federal contractors and subcontractors of their workforce's compensation in the midst of the conference caused quite a stir.

OFCCP intends to use this annual compensation reporting for selecting federal contractors and subcontractors for audits. Basically, those companies who submit compensation reports reflecting potential disparities will be at higher risk of being selected for an audit than those companies who do not. Furthermore, submission of this data on an annual basis potentially limits the amount of adjustments that can be done internally upon receiving an audit letter, since contractors will then have to show OFCCP support regarding any changes made. This data collection could include very detailed information such as copies of W-2 information.

DATE:
July 16, 2014
Subject:
Heads Up Letters

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has mailed another round of "courtesy letters" (aka "heads up letters") to federal contractors and subcontractors dated July 16, 2014, identifying establishments for "possible scheduling of a supply and service compliance evaluation during this scheduling cycle" - meaning sometime during the remainder of FY 2013-2014. Known formally as Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs), be aware that these letters are being sent directly to specific locations of multi-establishment contractors and not to the corporate headquarter offices. In addition, corporate offices are not being copied. Therefore, executives and HR staff in the field should be alerted to watch for these letters and advise corporate HR offices immediately upon receipt. Last year some of the actual scheduling audit letters started arriving within days of the release of the CSALs. The fiscal year ends September 30, 2014, and we can expect to see the majority, if not all, of those on the "heads up" list receive their official scheduling letter by that date.

DATE:
May 14, 2014
Subject:
Kairos' Norma Brito presents at the Rio Grande Valley Society of Human Resource Management

McKinney, Texas - May 14, 2014 - Kairos Services, Inc. is pleased to announce that Norma Brito, Chief Operations Officer, will present Affirmative Action Compliance at the Rio Grande Valley Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) on May 21, 2014.

The presentation will cover some of the basic compliance requirements of Affirmative Action including requirements in the annual written Affirmative Action Program (AAP) and changes in the use of 2010 census data for calculating availability. The presentation will also review the concepts of impact ratio analysis, selection disparities, adverse impact and how to perform shortfall and back pay calculations.

In addition, the Department of Labor has released game changing regulations for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans which went into effective on March 24, 2014. The presentation will touch on how these new requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors affect job listings, the use of tag lines, the EO clause, changes to pre and post offer invitations to self-identify, annual self-assessments of effectiveness, "goals" based on self-assessment results, and changes to data collection and retention (3 years).

Kairos Services, Inc. specializes in providing affirmative action and EEO services to employers throughout the country. Specifically, our firm assists employers in complying with various affirmative action and EEO statutory and regulatory requirements. We provide the following basic services:

  • Prepare compliant, user friendly Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) that are consistently found compliant by the OFCCP
  • Provide audit services to companies that have been selected for audit by the OFCCP
  • Design and deliver training programs to managers, supervisors and human resource professionals on affirmative action, EEO, and workforce diversity

Kairos Services, Inc. provides other related affirmative action, EEO and workforce diversity services such as customized progress reports, cohort analyses, conciliation services, Vets 100 reports, EEO-1 Reports, and compensation analyses.

DATE:
April 25, 2014
Subject:
KAIROS A PRESENCE AT THE UPCOMING SWARM CONFERENCE

Next week will be a busy week for the Kairos staff who will attend the SWARM (Southwest and Rocky Mountain) Regional Conference in Denver, Colorado. Chief Operations Officer Norma Brito will start out the Pre-Conference on Tuesday, April 28, with an Affirmative Action 101 workshop to help participants establish a foundation of understanding and get the most of their week's experience at the conference.

On Wednesday Kairos' Director of Compliance Services/General Counsel Lisa Kaiser will be moderating the OFCCP session which will be comprised of a panel of District Directors from Denver, New Orleans and Houston.

Thursday morning Lisa and Director of Operations Nick Paul will team up to deliver a workshop during the main conference on Common Contractor Defenses in OFCCP Systemic Discrimination Cases. As many Kairos clients are aware, Lisa delivered some of those OFCCP responses to federal contractors during her time with the agency.

Friday Lisa will moderate what many have come to recognize as one of the highlights of the SWARM Conference - the Landscape Panel. This conference closing session is comprised of some of the most nationally recognized experts in the field of affirmative action.

Kairos participated heavily in the planning for the conference. Kairos President Marshall Mendez was co-chair of the Program Committee; Nick served as chair of the Marketing Committee; AAP Specialist LaCrecia LeStourgeon served on the Sponsorship Committee; Lisa Kaiser was part of the Program Committee and Norma served on the Marketing Committee.

As she did for the prior SWARM Regional Conference held in San Antonio, Norma will serve as the Emcee for this year's conference.

Kairos clients attending the conference are invited to stop by the Kairos exhibit booth to pick up a special treat.

For more information please contact Jennifer at Jen@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.

DATE:
February 5, 2014
Subject:
OFCCP National Office Set to Release More "Heads Up" Letters

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has mailed a barrage of "courtesy letters" (aka "heads up letters) to federal contractors and subcontractors identifying establishments for "possible scheduling of a supply and service compliance evaluation during this scheduling cycle" - meaning sometime during the remainder of FY 2013-2014. Known formally as Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs), be aware that these letters are being sent directly to specific locations of multi-establishment contractors and not to the corporate headquarter offices. In addition, corporate offices are not being copied. Therefore, executives and HR staff in the field should be alerted to watch for these letters and advise corporate HR offices immediately upon receipt. Last year some of the actual scheduling audit letters started arriving within days of the release of the CSALs.

For those of you who love figures and data, here are the details. There are 2,193 establishments on the scheduling list for this fiscal year covering 17 industries (no, we don't know which ones). There are at least 856 "distinct companies" represented on the list. The list includes 40 Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations. The agency has set the maximum number of compliance evaluations to a total of no more than 35 for each corporate parent.

If your company does not receive a courtesy letter, your establishment(s) can still be selected for a compliance evaluation since these notification letters are "not all-inclusive" and these notifications are "not required by law". Please contact Kairos Services, Inc. immediately should you receive one of these letters in order to begin preparations to ensure your company is in a position to produce and submit all required materials in a complete, accurate and timely manner upon receipt of the OFCCP scheduling letter for the compliance evaluation.

Kairos Services, Inc. specializes in providing affirmative action and EEO services to employers throughout the country. Specifically, our firm assists employers in complying with various affirmative action and EEO statutory and regulatory requirements.

Lisa Kaiser

Director of Compliance Services/General Counsel

DATE:
January 27, 2014
Subject:
OMB Approves OFCCP's Section 503 Self-Identification Form

On January 22, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget approved the final version of theVoluntary Self-Identification of Disability form required by the new regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503). It should be noted that this does not affect the OFCCP’s phased in approach to compliance regarding Subpart C for Federal Contractors.

Federal contractors must use this form to invite job applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify as an individual with a disability as required by 41 CFR 60-741.42 of the new regulations. It provides employees and job applicants three options for self-disclosure, provides examples of disabilities, highlights that disclosure is voluntary and confidential, and includes a short paragraph on reasonable accommodation. The form is available on OFCCP’s Web site atwww.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/sec503/SelfId_Disability_CC_305_012214_JRF_QA_508c.pdf.

Federal Contractors who wish to provide this form electronically must meet specific contextual requirements to include:

  • Display the OMB number and expiration date;
  • Contain the text of the form without alteration;
  • Use a sans-serif font, such as Calibri or Arial; and
  • Use at least 11-pitch for font size (with the exception of the footnote and burden statement, which must be at least 10-pitch in size.

For more information see OFCCP's FAQs for the rule.

Lisa Kaiser

Director of Compliance Services/General Counsel

DATE:
November 7, 2013
Subject:
Kairos’ Lisa Kaiser presents at the Industry Liaison Group of Arkansas

McKinney, Texas – November 7, 2013 – Kairos Services, Inc. is pleased to announce that Lisa Kaiser, Director of Compliance Services, will be presenting New Regulations for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities: What You Need to do to Get Into Compliance at the Industry Liaison Group of Arkansas on November 20.  Her co-presenter is Shafeeqa Giarratani, JD Senior Associate/Attorney at Norton, Rose, Fulbright Law Firm.

“During the last SWARM regional conference the Kaiser/Giarratani team had one of the highest attended sessions of the conference” states Norma Brito, Kairos COO.  The team’s new presentation comes on the heels of the finalization of changes to non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended.

This presentation will explain the new obligations on federal contractors for veterans and individuals with disabilities.  The presentation will also cover the legal implications of the regulations for current and future audits.  Finally, Lisa and Shafeeqa will provide practical tips for what organizations need to do now to be prepared for full compliance.

Kairos Services, Inc. specializes in providing affirmative action and EEO services to employers throughout the country. Specifically, our firm assists employers in complying with various affirmative action and EEO statutory and regulatory requirements. We provide the following basic services:

  • Prepare compliant, user friendly Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) that are consistently found compliant by the OFCCP
  • Provide audit services to companies that have been selected for audit by the OFCCP
  • Design and deliver training programs to managers, supervisors and human resource professionals on affirmative action, EEO, and workforce diversity

Kairos Services, Inc. provides other related affirmative action, EEO and workforce diversity services such as customized progress reports, cohort analyses, conciliation services, Vets 100 reports, EEO-1 Reports, and compensation analyses.

For additional information, contact Norma Brito, Chief Operations Officer, norma@kairosservicesinc.com

DATE:
September 10, 2013
Subject:
FREE Webinar Exclusive to Kairos Services, Inc. Clients

This FREE webinar is exclusive to Kairos Services, Inc. clients
Game Changing Regulatory Updates for
Veterans and Individuals With Disabilities:
What You Need to Know Before the Countdown Ends


You are invited...
Over the past two weeks you received a series of email briefings covering changes to non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended.  As promised Kairos will hold a webinar on two separate dates to review new requirements.

This practical, working webinar is being offered exclusively to Kairos clients FREE of charge.  The webinar will feature Nicolas Paul, Director of Operations, and Lisa Kaiser, Director of Compliance Services.
Friday, September 20 - 12:00 p.m. CST
Monday, September 23 - 10:00 a.m. CST


What you need to know...
Cost? FREE!
Availability: There will be 25 seats* for each date.  If more than one employee needs to attend from a single location please arrange for a single log-on.
Homework: At a minimum you need to read Kairos' briefing emails PRIOR to participating in the webinar.  We suggest you read the regulations if at all possible.  This will allow you to take maximum advantage of the webinar.
We plan to record the webinar for future availability.
The webinar is exclusive to Kairos clients.
What we plan to accomplish during the webinar:
Introduce the new requirements in the regulations.
Deliver in a format that will allow clients to identify what needs to be done.
Allow clients to develop a plan of action items as a result of the webinar.
*Preference seating will be given to clients with up-to-date Affirmative Action Plans.

DATE:
September 6, 2013
Subject:
A Kairos Briefing (Parts 4 - 6) – Changes to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)

A Kairos Briefing Changes to Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (Parts 4, 5 and 6 Consolidated)

Introduction

In order for Kairos to move expeditiously to hold its webinars on VEVRAA and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, we have combined Parts 4 through 6 in this briefing to address the Final Rule implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended (VEVRAA) at 41 CFR Part 60-300. This briefing is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all the changes to VEVRAA but rather is an overview of the most significant changes. Details about these changes can be found by accessing the following link to the VEVRAA: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/VEVRAARule/. At its core, VEVRRA’s two-fold objective is to (1) prohibit discrimination by Federal contractors against protected veterans covered by the law and (2) requires that contractors take affirmative action to recruit, hire and promote these veterans.

Highlights

The following highlights will be covered in this briefing.

  • Rescission of Outdated 41 CFR Part 60-250.

  • Effective Date of the Final Rule

  • Veterans Covered Under the New Rule

  • Establishment of Annual Hiring Benchmarks for Protected Veterans

  • Invitation to Self-Identify Pre-Offer, Post-Offer and Through Surveys

  • Conduct Self-Audits: Document and Update Annually

  • Listing Job Vacancies with the Appropriate Local State Job Service

  • Appropriate Outreach and Recruitment Efforts

  • Reasonable Accommodations

  • Incorporating EO Clause in Contracts and EEO Taglines

  • OFCCP Audits and Records Access

Rescission of Outdated 41 CFR Part 60-250

The Final Rule rescinds 41 CFR 60-250 in its entirety, however, veterans formerly protected only under Part 60-250, referred to as pre-JVA veterans, will still be covered from discrimination under 40 CFR Part 60-300.

Effective Date of the Final Rule

The effective date of the Final Rule is 180 days from the publication of the Rule in the Federal Register which is expected by September 11, 2013. Contractors are to comply with all regulatory requirements as of the effective date except for preparing VEVRAA Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs) under Subpart C. This part provides a phased in approach to compliance for affirmative action programs. AAPs in place on the effective date of the Final Rule remain unchanged until the next regular reporting cycle. For example, a January 1, 2014 AAP does not need to comply with the Final Rule until its next reporting cycle on January 1, 2015, since the Final Rule will not be effective until sometime in March/April 2014 (depending on the date that the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register).

Veterans Covered Under the New Rule

Contractors are prohibited from discriminating against protected veterans and pre-JVA veterans for employment and are required to take affirmative action to employ and advance the employment of protected veterans. These protected veteran categories include:

  • Disabled Veterans

  • Recently Separated Veterans

  • Active Duty Wartime or Campaign Badge Veterans

  • Armed Forces Service Medal Veterans

Pre-JVA Veterans are defined in 41 CFR 60-300.2(o)

Establishment of Annual Hiring Benchmarks for Protected Veterans

VEVRAA requires contractors to establish annual benchmarks to measure their progress in recruiting and employing veterans and achieving equal opportunity for those veterans. Contractors will have two options for establishing a benchmark: (1) a benchmark equal to the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force which will be published and updated annually by the OFCCP (the current national percentage of veterans in the CLF is 8%) or (2) Contractors can create their own benchmark based on the best available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service/Employment and Training Administration (VETS/ETA), which will also be published by the OFCCP. Additionally, Contractors may use other factors that reflect the contractor’s unique hiring circumstances and best available data. Contractors may apply their hiring benchmark to each of their job groups but are not required to do so.

Invitation to Self-Identify Pre-Offer, Post-Offer and Through Surveys

Under the Final Rule, contractors will now be required to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as protected veterans at the pre-offer stage of the hiring process. This requirement allows contractors to track the number of protected veteran applicants they receive to assess outreach and recruitment efforts. The Final Rule retains the requirement that contractors extend an invitation to applicants to voluntarily self-identify post-offer as a specific category of protected veteran – e.g., recently separated veteran, disabled veteran. Contractors can then use this information to complete the VETS-100A Report. Appendix B of the Final Rule includes a sample invitation. Unlike the Final Rule of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires a workforce re-survey the first year and every five subsequent years, no re-survey of a contractor’s workforce is required under the Final Rule of VEVRAA.

Note 1: Although no referral source data is required, Kairos suggests that referral (recruitment source) data be maintained to better assess the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts.

Note 2: Kairos also suggests adding the following to the self-identification form provided by the OFCCP – “I decline to self-identify.”

Note 3: Kairos recommends contractors insure their applicant screening criteria does not screen out or tend to screen out a disabled or other protected veteran or a class of disabled or other protected veterans unless the contractor can show the screening criteria is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. Additionally, contractors may not use selection criteria that relate to the performance of an essential function of the job to exclude a disabled veteran if that person could satisfy the criteria with a reasonable accommodation.

Conduct Self-Audits and Document and Update Annually

Contractors are required to conduct self-audits, document and annually update several quantitative measures for veterans who apply and are hired. This data will assist contractors in assessing the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts. Specifically, contractors are required to document and update the following information regarding applicants, hires and employees annually.

    • The number of protected veteran applicants;

    • The total number of job openings and the number of jobs filled;

    • The total number of applicants for all jobs.

    • The total number of protected veteran applicants hired; and

    • The total number of applicants hired

These records must be retained for a period of three years to assess the effectiveness of long-term outreach and recruitment efforts.

Listing Job Vacancies with Appropriate Local State Job Service

The Final Rule requires contractors list all job vacancies (except for executive and top management, positions filled within the contractor’s organization and positions lasting three days or less) with the local state employment service where the vacancy is located. Job listings must be in a manner and format permitted by those agencies. For example, if the agency requires transmission of job vacancies electronically through a Web-based form, the contractor must so provide them. The job listing must indicate that the contractor is a federal contractor on the listing, indicate its desire for priority referral of protected veterans for openings, and provide contact information for the official responsible for hiring at each location.

Appropriate Outreach and Recruitment Efforts

Contractors are required to undertake appropriate outreach and recruitment for protected veterans. Contractors are free to choose and utilize outreach and recruitment sources they believe will work best for them. Linkage agreements are not required. Self-assessment of outreach and recruitment efforts must be conducted and documented annually. Assessments must include the criteria used to evaluate the effectiveness of each effort and the contractor’s conclusion as to whether each effort was effective. Assessments must be maintained for three years to evaluate the success of long term efforts. Contractors must disseminate their outreach policy to employees, managers, and union officials if the company has collective bargaining.

Reasonable Accommodations

The Final Rule states that contractors must make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified disabled veteran unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of its business. The regulations state that if an employee known to be a disabled veteran is having significant difficulty performing his/her job and it is reasonable to conclude that the performance problem may be related to the known disability, the contractor shall confidentially notify the employee of the performance problem and inquire whether the problem is related to the employee’s disability. If the employee responds affirmatively, the contractor shall confidentially inquire whether the employee is in need of a reasonable accommodation. Additional required accommodations include: providing equal access to disabled veterans to electronic or online job applications systems, electronic notification of the contractor’s equal opportunity policy statement, and other communications that disabled veterans may have difficulty accessing due to their disabilities. The Final Rule also provides detailed guidance in Appendix A to contractors for providing reasonable accommodations to disabled veterans. All data collected with respect to reasonable accommodations is required to be maintained by the contractor for a period of two years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later.  However, if the contractor has fewer than 150 employees or does not have a Government contract of at least $150,000, the minimum record retention period will be one year.

Incorporating EO Clause in Contracts and EEO Taglines

The Equal Opportunity Clause in contractors’ subcontracts can continue to be incorporated by reference but must cite the regulations at 41 CFR 60-300.5(a) and include the following sentences in bold text immediately following the citation.

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-300.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.”

Hiring solicitations and advertisements must include “veteran status” or “protected veteran” or similar language in their existing equal opportunity employer statement.

OFCCP Audits and Records Access

The Final Rule codifies the recent Frito-Lay judicial determination by stating that the OFCCP may extend the temporal scope of a compliance evaluation and examine information after the date of the compliance evaluation scheduling letter if the OFCCP believes it necessary to carry out its investigation of potential VEVRAA violations. The Final Rule of VEVRAA also requires contractors, upon request, to inform OFCCP of all formats in which it maintains its records and provide them to OFCCP in whichever of those formats OFCCP requests.

 

DATE:
September 9, 2013
Subject:
A Kairos Briefing (Part 3 of 6) – Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Introduction
Significant changes have occurred with the release of the Section 503 Final Rule. Part three of this series highlights the most significant changes that have occurred in the following areas.

  (5) Outreach and Recruitment Efforts

  (6) Audit and Reporting System

  (7) The 7% Utilization Goal

  (8) Affirmative Action Policies

  (9) Data, Data and More Data

       *(See Part 2 of the series for areas 1-4)

We will identify what is required, recommended and what is considered a best practice in the Final Rule.

Outreach and Recruitment Efforts
As a part of the affirmative action obligations in the Final Rule, Federal contractors are required to undertake reasonably designed outreach and recruitment activities to recruit qualified individuals with disabilities.  One very important requirement is the contractor’s obligation to send written notification of company policy related to its affirmative action efforts to all subcontractors, including subcontracting vendors and suppliers, requesting appropriate action on their part.  Although the Final Rule offers a number of activities from which Federal contractors may choose, the rule does not limit or explicitly require a contractor to engage in all the recommended activities. The scope of the contractor’s efforts shall depend upon the circumstances including the contractor’s size and resources and the extent to which existing employment practices are adequate.  With some exceptions, the ultimate measure regarding the effectiveness of a contractor’s outreach and recruitment efforts is the proportion of individuals with disabilities who apply and are hired into the contractor’s workforce. Examples of outreach and positive recruitment activities include those listed as an attachment to this briefing paper (See Attachment § 60-741.44(f) (2) at the end of this brief).

The Final Rule requires self-assessments regarding the effectiveness of a contractor’s outreach and recruitment efforts to identify and recruit qualified individuals with disabilities.  Self-assessments are to be completed annually and must at a minimum include (1) the criteria used to evaluate the contractor’s effectiveness of each effort and (2) the contractor’s conclusion as to whether its efforts were effective.  If efforts were not effective, the contractor shall identify and implement alternative efforts.  The results of self-assessments must be kept on file for a period of three years

The required data that must be collected to perform self-assessments of a contractor’s outreach and recruitment efforts, including calculations and comparisons pertaining to applicants and hires, must be maintained for a period of three years and must include:

  (1) The total number of applicants who self-identified as individuals with disabilities or who were otherwise known to be individuals with disabilities.

  (2) The total number of applicants for all jobs

  (3) The total number of job openings and jobs filled

  (4) The number of individuals with disabilities hired

  (5) The total number of applicants hired

The Final Rule also requires internal dissemination of policies which show a contractor’s commitment to engage in affirmative action efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.  The required policy of dissemination must be made available to employees and if part of a collective bargaining agreement, the contractor must notify union officials and/or representatives of the contractor’s policy and request their cooperation.  Additional recommendations are also made for implementing and disseminating policy but are not required, such as informing all employees and prospective employees of its affirmative action commitment, scheduling meetings with all employees to discuss its affirmative action policies, and conducting special meetings with management personnel about these policies. 

 Audit and Reporting System
Another very important requirement under the Final Rule is the auditing and reporting system.  Specifically, a contractor must implement an audit and reporting system that will:

  (1) Measure the effectiveness of the contractor’s affirmative action program for IWD

  (2) Indicate any need for remedial action

  (3) Determine the degree to which the contractor’s objectives have been attained

  (4) Determine whether known individuals with disabilities have been provided the opportunity     to participate in all company sponsored educational, training, recreational, and social activities

  (5) Measure the contractor’s compliance with the affirmative action program’s specific obligations

  (6) Document actions taken to comply with the obligations listed above and retain these documents as employment records subject to the requirements of one year or two years (based on the threshold of 100 employees/$150,000 contract; see Section “Data, Data and More Data below).

The 7% Utilization Goal
The Final Rule establishes a 7% utilization goal for employment of qualified individuals with disabilities for each job group in the contractor’s workforce or for the contractor’s entire workforce.  Contractors who establish utilization goals by job group must use the same job groups established for utilization analyses under Executive Order 11246.  However, contractors with 100 or fewer employees have the option to measure utilization of individuals with disabilities based on the contractor’s entire workforce.

Contractors must annually evaluate the utilization of individuals with disabilities in their workforce and take steps to correct impediments to equal opportunity where utilization is found to be less than availability.  In the event utilization is found to be less than availability, contractors must assess their (a) personnel processes, (b) the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts, (c) the results of their affirmative action program audit, and (d) “any other areas that might affect the success of the affirmative action program.” Additionally, contractors must develop and execute “action-oriented programs” to correct problem areas identified above.  However, the Final Rule allows contractors flexibility with regard to the specifics of the actions they undertake such as modification of personnel processes to ensure equal employment opportunity, alternative or additional outreach and recruitment efforts and/or other actions designed to correct the identified problem areas and attain the established goal.

 Affirmative Action Policies
Pursuant to the Final Rule, Federal contractors must undertake affirmative action policies to advance the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in their workforce.  Detailed in the preceding paragraphs and previous brief, these policies were significantly strengthened, requiring additional action and record keeping requirements for which contractors must assess the effectiveness of their policies and programs.  Ultimately, the required affirmative action policies detailed in the Final Rule allow contractors significant flexibility in the development of their policies, procedures and remedial actions to correct deficiencies should they exist. 

Data, Data and More Data
In Subpart E-Ancillary Matters, 60-741.80(a) of the Section 503 Final Rule, the general requirements for recordkeeping are detailed in addition to those previously discussed, using a ‘catch all’ which states that “any personnel or employment record made or kept by the contactor shall be preserved” by one of two standards depending on contractor size or award amount.  According to the Final Rule “records” include but are not limited to:

“records relating to requests for reasonable accommodation; the results of any physical examination; job advertisements and postings; applications and resumes; tests and test results; interview notes; and other records having to do with hiring, assignment, promotion, demotion, transfer, lay-off or termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, and selection for training or apprenticeship.”

The Final Rule allows a shorter record keeping requirement of only one year for contractors with fewer than 150 employees or does not have a Government contract of at least $150,000.  Contractors who employ 150 employees or more or have a Government contract of $150,000 or more must preserve personnel and employment records for a period of two years.  Regardless of the contractor’s size, the record period begins from either the “making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later.”  Additionally, when a contractor receives notice of a complaint, compliance evaluation, or enforcement action, the contractor must preserve all records relevant to the complaint, compliance evaluation, or action until “final disposition of the complaint, compliance evaluation or action.”

Conclusion
Although providing contractors significant flexibility in the establishment of their policies and procedures, in the Final Rule may result in significant findings of non-compliance for contractors who do not establish:

  (1) Robust procedures for collecting data pursuant to the provisions of the Final Rule and

  (2) Effective programs for advancing the employment of individuals with disabilities

Previously, the provisions detailed in Section 503 were little more than an annual exercise in paperwork.  However, the redesigned Final Rule establishes concrete metrics and mandatory data collection requirements for assessing the effectiveness of affirmative action policies for individuals with disabilities.  Therefore, contractors who repeatedly find themselves underutilized may likely end up in conciliation agreements when audited due to their inability or failure to design and implement effective affirmative action programs to advance the employment of individuals with disabilities. 

Note: The 180 day countdown for the effective date of the Final Rule does NOT begin until the Rule has been published in the Federal Register.

DATE:
August 30, 2013
Subject:
A Kairos Briefing (Part 2 of 6) – Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

A Kairos Briefing

Part 2 of 6 – Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Introduction
With the release of the Section 503 Final Rule, significant procedural changes have occurred in information dissemination, data collection and self-assessments required by Federal Contractors to comply with the new Final Rule.  Part two of this series highlights the most significant changes in the first four (4) of the following nine (9) areas:

  (1) Definition of “Disability”

  (2) Equal Opportunity Clauses

  (3) Reasonable Accommodation Procedures

  (4) Voluntary Self-Identification – Pre-Offer, Post Offer and Resurvey

Areas 5 through 9 will be covered in part three of this series and include:

  (5) Outreach and Recruitment Efforts

  (6) Audit and Reporting System

  (7) The 7% Utilization Goal

  (8) Affirmative Action Policies

  (9) Data, Data and More Data

We will identify what is required, recommended and what is considered a best practice in the Final Rule.

Definition of “Disability”
In order to implement changes necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, Section 503 required revisions to the definition of “disability” in order to incorporate the ADAAA requirements.  The Final Rule defines disability as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual” 60-741.2(g).  Additionally, the definition of disability also includes having a “record of” such an impairment or “regarded as” having such an impairment. This definition of disability was intentional and “in favor of a broad coverage of individuals, to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

Equal Opportunity Clause
The Equal Opportunity (EO) clause is a required part of all federal contracts and subcontracts subject to Section 503.  However, it is not necessary to include the clause verbatim so long as the contract cites the clause 41 CFR 60-741.5(a) and includes the following language verbatim, in bold, after the citation: “This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5(a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.” 

Reasonable Accommodation Processes and Procedures
Section 503 requires covered Federal contractors and subcontractors provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, except when an accommodation would impose an “undue hardship” or a “direct threat”.  It should be noted that reasonable accommodation applies to qualified individuals in the job application process, affirmed by the invitation to voluntarily self-identify as a person with a disability in the Pre-Offer stage of employment as well as Post Offer.

After the job application process, reasonable accommodations also applies to the actual work environment, as well as benefits, privileges and opportunities which may be associated with employment.  It should further be noted that “as a matter of affirmative action, if an employee with a known disability is having significant difficulty performing his or her job and it is reasonable to conclude that the performance problem may be related to the known disability, the contractor shall confidentially notify the employee of the performance problem and inquire whether the problem is related to the employee’s disability. If the employee responds affirmatively, the contractor shall confidentially inquire whether the employee is in need of a reasonable accommodation.”

Although the written use of procedures for processing reasonable accommodations is a best practice and is not required, the Final Rule provides guidance to contractors in Appendix B, including a suggested written procedure should a contractor engage in such a process.

All data collected with respect to reasonable accommodations is required to be “preserved by the contractor for a period of two years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later. However, if the contractor has fewer than 150 employees or does not have a Government contract of at least $150,000, the minimum record retention period shall be one year from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever occurs later, except as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.”

Voluntary Self-Identification – Pre-Offer, Post Offer and Resurvey
One of the most substantive changes to Section 503 is the required process for collecting and recording self-identification data, particularly in the Pre-Offer stage of employment.  OFCCP’s rationale to allow Federal contractors the ability to gather disability statistics in their hiring practices, Pre-Offer, is so they can assess the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts.

  • ·         Pre-Offer – The invitation to self-identify may be included with the application materials for a position but must be separate from the application.  The contractor must invite the applicant to self-identify using the language and manner prescribed by the Director and to be published on the OFCCP web site “soon”.
  • ·         Post-Offer – Defined as any time after the offer of employment but before the applicant begins their job duties, the contractor must invite the applicant to self-identify using the language and manner prescribed by the Director and to be published on the OFCCP web site “soon”.
  • ·         Resurvey – Current employees must be extended an invitation to self-identify as an individual with a disability.  New Federal contractors must invite current employees to voluntarily self-identify within the first year the contractor becomes subject to Section 503.  After the first year, Federal contractors must invite employees to self-identify at five year intervals and must remind their employees once during the five year interval that they may update their disability status.

It is important to note that all self-identification information must be kept confidential and must be maintained in a data analysis file separate from the employee’s medical file.  Additionally, the medical information can only be shared with:

  • 1.      Managers and supervisors regarding necessary restrictions of work or duties of the applicant or employee and necessary accommodations
  • 2.      First aide and safety personnel when appropriate, if they require emergency treatment
  • 3.      Government officials enforcing ADA or laws administered by OFCCP

All self-identification data collected must be maintained for three years.  This data includes:

  • 1.      The number of applicants who self-identified as individuals with disabilities or are known to be individuals with disabilities
  • 2.      The total number of job openings and total jobs filled
  • 3.      The total number of applicants for all jobs
  • 4.      The total number of applicants with disabilities hired
  • 5.      The total number of applicants hired

Coming Soon
In part three of this training series we will discuss areas 5 through 9:

  (5) Outreach and Recruitment Efforts

  (6) Audit and Reporting System

  (7) The 7% Utilization Goal

  (8) Affirmative Action Policies

  (9) Data, Data and More Data

Kairos Services welcomes any comments or questions regarding any issues or information raised in this training series.

The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice.  You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained in this mailer or our websites.

DATE:
August 27, 2013
Subject:
A Kairos Briefing – Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

A Kairos Briefing

Part 1 of 6 – Changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

kai·ros   1. a propitious moment for decision or action.

Introduction
After a significant delay since its inception, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) submitted their proposed regulatory revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  In less than 30 days, OMB approved the proposed Section 503 regulations today.

Welcome to the first installment of our six part series!  The first three parts of this series address the OFCCP’s regulatory changes under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  In this installment we will provide a summary and analysis of the most significant revisions contained in the Final Rule.  This review of Section 503 will assist human resource professionals in understanding how these changes impact Federal contractors in the time and cost necessary to comply with the Section 503 Rule.

 Summary
Section 503 prohibits discrimination by covered Federal contractors and subcontractors against individuals on the basis of disability and requires that Federal contractors take affirmative action on behalf of qualified individuals with disabilities.  These “affirmative actions” include engaging in outreach and recruitment efforts, entering into linkage agreements, and a variety of other proactive steps which are to be expressly detailed in a contractor’s personnel policies to recruit persons with disabilities. According to the OFCCP, the existing Section 503 regulations needed significant changes in order to transform the regulations from a “paperwork exercise” into a program for enhancing equal employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities.

The most substantive changes in the Final Rule can be divided into four distinct categories meant to embody the purpose and intent of the Final regulations.  First, the changes are meant to provide a ‘bridge’ between job-seeking qualified individuals with disabilities and Federal contractors seeking them.  Second, the changes ensure contractors understand and effectively communicate their affirmative action obligations to (a) their incumbent workforce, (b) prospective job-seeking individuals with disabilities and (c) entities with which covered contractors engage in business.  Third, the Rule provides significant increases in data collection and analysis for contractors to assess the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts.  Finally, during its conduct of compliance audits, the Rule provides the OFCCP with greater flexibility and efficiency in conducting compliance evaluations.

 Analysis
In order to strengthen its affirmative action provisions, the OFCCP has made specific changes to the definition and scope of Section 503, removing ambiguities while imposing mandatory “specific actions” be taken by Federal contractors.  The following paragraphs provide a brief narrative from which we analyze the four previously mentioned categories.

Provide a ‘bridge’In order to connect qualified individuals with disabilities and contractors looking for them, the OFCCP has codified substantive outreach and recruitment efforts in the Final Rule.  A few of these efforts include (1) listing all employment opportunities with the nearest One-Stop Career Center, (2) engaging in a minimum number of outreach and recruitment efforts, (3) entering into linkage agreements with organizations and agencies for the purpose of recruiting qualified individuals with disabilities, (4) extended dissemination of its affirmative action commitments to affirmative action on behalf of individuals with disabilities and (5) the collection and retention of all applicable data related to outreach efforts for individuals with disabilities for a five-year period.

Effectively Communicate – Once job-seeking individuals with disabilities and employers have come together, it is essential for Federal contractors to effectively communicate the protections and benefits provided under the Section 503 Rule.  Effective communication includes but is not limited to (1) inclusion of affirmative action policies in a policy manual and/or employee manual, (2) discussions of equal employment opportunity during orientation and training programs, (3) providing notice of rights under Section 503 in formats accessible to employees working offsite, (4) providing the option to self-identify and (5) providing a process to request an accommodation and other related communications.  Consistent with the previous section, all records must be kept on file for five years from their creation, including the results of self-monitoring assessments performed on an annual basis.

Increased Data Collection and Analysis – The significant volume of new data that must be collected, maintained and stored is arguably the most rigorous new requirement of the Section 503 Final Rule.  This substantial increase in data collection was largely enacted for the purpose of conducting self-assessments of affirmative action program effectiveness.   Under the new 503 regulations, contractors are required to maintain documentation on referral, applicant, hiring actions and job openings data for a period of five years.  Further, a significant increase in reasonable accommodation compliance requirements also substantially adds to a contractor’s burden of compliance. 

One particularly challenging self-assessment is that which measures progress toward the new 7% utilization goal for persons with disabilities required by the new regulations.  This 7% goal per job group for persons with disabilities represents another compliance challenge to federal contractors.

Greater Flexibility and Efficiency – With increased access to electronic data and contractor self-assessments, the OFCCP will have an increased ability to conduct more in depth compliance evaluations.  With the significant increase in data retention required under the Final Rule, OFCCP will have a greater likelihood of identifying patterns of discrimination against individuals with disabilities within a contractor’s workforce.

Conclusion
Without a doubt the OFCCP has significantly increased the burden on Federal contractors and the cost of doing business with the Federal government across nearly every conceivable area related to affirmative action and Section 503.  Dissimilar from past revisions to Section 503, the OFCCP has substantially increased the size and scope of contractor obligations to include data collection, retention, and annual self-assessments.  It is critical that Federal contractors prepare now to implement the provisions of the Final Section 503 Rule for achieving compliance in the face of these significant changes.

 

DATE:
August 27, 2013
Subject:
BIG NEWS - THE REGS PASSED!

Dear Kairos Clients:

It is likely that your email inbox has been inundated the last few hours with the announcement of the Final Rules which represent a substantial step forward in advancing employment opportunities for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.   These regulations, announced a few hours ago by Vice President Biden, were obviously on a very fast track, navigating the OMB approval process in less than 30 days.  We will have 180 days before the Final Rule takes effect and, for sure, there will be a lot of work involved for federal contractors to comply.   

You will likely receive information on numerous webinars that will be offered as soon as the end of this week.  However, we have a plan in place which will help Kairos clients understand what is codified in the new regulations.  Over the next week to 10 days you will receive a series of six emails.  We had originally planned to release them at the rate of one a week to provide you amply time to review and digest.  So we now have to step up the pace, releasing one to you every 2 or 3 days.  We want you to have time to review these six pieces of information before you participate in our webinars.  We believe this process will help you gain a deeper understanding of the metrics and compliance obligations required by the new regulations, therefore allowing you ample time to contemplate questions you need answers to by the time we hold our webinars.  We will likely do several of them and limit participation to 25 maximum for each webinar so we can include a Q&A session with each. 

You can view today’s press release on the DOL’s website by clicking on this link.  As always, we look forward to guiding you through this time of significant change in affirmative action and EEO compliance.

Marshall

Marshall P. Mendez
President

DATE:
August 23, 2013
Subject:
A Kairos Training Series

The upcoming six part series referenced below has been developed by Kairos Services, Inc. as a training tool to assist federal contractors in complying with proposed changes to non-discrimination and affirmative action regulations of section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended.  Submitted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the end of July, these revisions are expected to be approved by OMB in the very near future and may impose significant increases in data collection and analysis a contractor must undertake in order to achieve compliance with these proposed regulations.  Although it is unclear to what extent these regulations will be approved or amended, it is clear that the federal contractor community needs to prepare to comply with these regulatory changes once approved.

 Why is this important to you?  The reasons are basically twofold.  First, the proposed regulations significantly increase the data collection requirements of federal contractors, and second, they establish new utilization goals for individuals with disabilities and veterans against which contractors must self-audit the effectiveness of their outreach, recruitment, hiring and other affirmative action obligations.

 Training Outline – This series has been subdivided into six parts in order to help Human Resource and HRIS professionals with information dissemination, process revisions, and data collection modifications necessary to achieve compliance with the proposed regulations.  The first three parts of this series tackle the data collection requirements and goals specific to the regulations implementing section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (individuals with disabilities), while the second three parts of the series address the provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (veterans).

 Kairos Services welcomes any comments or questions regarding any issues or information raised in this training series.

DATE:
June 21, 2013
Subject:
EEO-1 Reporting

The EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee is the organization responsible for managing the EEO-1 reporting process.  The 2012 filing season is now over which means that changes can no longer be made to your 2012 EEO-1 Reports.

The 2013 EEO-1 online filing season will open in mid-July.  However, for security reasons, all previous passwords will not work in the 2013 filing process.  Sometime between mid to late July, the Joint Reporting Committee will be mailing a notification letter by US Mail to each company who filed a 2012 EEO-1 Report.  That notification will contain your EEO Login ID as well as your new password.  The notification will contain other useful information, such as separate email addresses to request technical assistance, to request lost login ID and password information and to request a 30 day extension.

Kairos encourages you to download a complete certified copy of your EEO-1 Reports in pdf format after filing them each year in the event that the reports are needed during a period that the filing system is closed or are otherwise not accessible.

When you receive your notification letter it will be a signal that the 2013 filing season is open.  If you have any questions you can contact the Joint Reporting Committee at 877-392-4647. 

Kairos encourages you to file your EEO-1 Reports early to avoid the last minute overload that typically occurs.   We are happy to review your reports and compare them against your AAPs for consistency in reporting…just please don’t wait until Monday, September 30 which is the deadline for filing!!!

Have a Question?

Ask the Experts at experts@KairosServicesInc.com or call our Corporate Office at 972-369-0015

DATE:
April 26, 2013
Subject:
NEWS FEED ALERT: OFCCP National Office Releases More "Heads Up" Letters

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) mailed another barrage of “courtesy letters” (aka “heads up letters) to federal contractors and subcontractors last week identifying establishments for “possible scheduling of a supply and service compliance evaluation during this scheduling cycle” - meaning sometime during the remainder of 2013. Please be aware that these letters are now being sent directly to specific locations of multi-establishment contractors and not to the corporate offices nor are corporate offices being copied.  Therefore, corporate offices should periodically check with their establishments to make sure that they know to look out for these OFCCP letters.  See Kairos News Feed dated April 1, 2013 for details about these OFCCP heads up letters. 

DATE:
April 4, 2013
Subject:
Join Kairos’ Lisa Kaiser as she speaks at the Texas Legislative HR Round Up
TOPIC: Managing Applicant Flow Data

Affiliate of Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM)

The Texas Legislative HR Round Up is a premier conference sponsored by the SHRM Texas State Council in partnership with the Texas Association of Business (TAB) and the Texas Industry Liaison Groups (ILG). This one of a kind event in Texas gives you the opportunity to stay on top of the latest legislative issues at the federal and state levels AND the opportunity to speak with your elected Texas officials.  Healthcare regulations, EEOC issues, OFCCP compliance, social media and privacy issues, immigration and National Labor Relations Board activity are just a few of the complex issues we face today.  The 2013 Texas Legislative HR Round Up will be packed with speakers and concurrent sessions that will bring you up-to-date on the most recent legislative changes to ensure that you stay in compliance with the law.  You will learn how Human Resource Professionals in Texas can have an impact for their companies, employees, and communities at large!

Lisa Kaiser

Lisa Kaiser, Attorney, earned her J.D. degree at the University of Baltimore and her undergraduate at Rutgers University. She is currently a Senior Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) Project Manager at Kairos, an AAP consulting firm.

Ms. Kaiser is the former Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) Director of Operations for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Region, where she was responsible for directing the enforcement effort of the District Offices in the eleven-state region. She also held positions of Dallas OFCCP District Office Director and San Antonio OFCCP Assistant District Director.

In addition to her OFCCP experience, Ms. Kaiser is a veteran with 8 years in legal practice. She served on active duty for the U.S. Army as a Judge Advocate in the U.S., Germany, Middle East and Korea.

Ms. Kaiser currently provides a full range of services including auditing, affirmative action program development and implementation, reviewing, and training.

Lisa is a member of the North Texas Industry Liaison Group (ILG) which covers the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

DATE:
April 1, 2013
Subject:
NEWS FEED ALERT OFCCP National Office Releases Additional "Heads Up" Letters

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) mailed another barrage of “courtesy” letters (aka “heads up letters) to federal contractors and subcontractors last week identifying establishments for “possible scheduling of a supply and service compliance evaluation during this scheduling cycle” - meaning sometime during the remainder of 2013. These letters are intended to provide notice to companies and to “facilitate your complete, accurate and timely production of materials and information” when the listed establishment receives a scheduling letter for a compliance evaluation by the OFCCP. These “materials and information” include affirmative action programs (AAPs) and other supporting documentation.  The OFCCP recent audits have focused on compensation, outreach and recruitment and other “good faith efforts” especially toward individuals with disabilities (IWDs) and veterans, medical restrictions, physical examinations, requests for accommodations, accessibility of online applicant system to IWDs, applicant tracking, hires, promotions, terminations, posting jobs with the state employment service,  and other related personnel documents.  The agency continues to very aggressively pursue enforcement of the regulations that prohibit discrimination and require affirmative action on the part of federal contractors and subcontractors.
It should also be noted that even though your company does not receive one of these courtesy letters, your establishment(s) could still be selected for a compliance evaluation since these notification letters are “not all-inclusive” and these notifications are “not required by law”. Please do not fail to contact Kairos Services, Inc. immediately should you receive one of these letters in order that we can begin the preparation needed to ensure that your company is in a position to produce and submit all required materials in a complete, accurate and timely manner when you receive the OFCCP scheduling letter for the compliance evaluation.

DATE:
March 1, 2013
Subject:
OFCCP Compensation Regulatory Changes

OFCCP’s long awaited rescission of its 2006 Compensation Standards/Voluntary Guidelines on pay discrimination became effective February 28, 2013.  This action was taken, according to the agency, to “lift arbitrary barriers that have prevented our investigators from finding and combating illegal pay discrimination.” In place of those pay standards and guidelines, the OFCCP issued Directive 307, Procedures for Reviewing Contractor Compensation Systems and Practices, which applies to all OFCCP reviews scheduled on or after February 28, 2013 as well as to open reviews prior to the effective date.  Directive 307 establishes procedures for reviewing compensation systems and practices from the date the agency receives data from contractors at the beginning of the desk audit as well as at subsequent stages of a compliance evaluation.  The procedures will include a preliminary analysis of contractor summary data and/or individual employee-level data which could result in a closure of the compensation evaluation or could continue on to a more comprehensive evaluation if during the preliminary analysis OFCCP finds indicators of possible discrimination.  A comprehensive evaluation could include a full review of all employment practices, statistical analysis such as regression analysis as well as non-statistical analysis including cohort analysis and use of other analytical tools and approaches.  Anecdotal evidence will no longer be generally required to support a finding of discrimination.  Contractors will continue to be required to conduct self-audits of their compensation systems under Section 41 CFR 60-2.17(b)(3) as they have in the past to determine whether there are gender, race, ethnicity-based disparities.  Self-audits are an effective means of determining whether there are problems with compensation programs.  Equally important is to take steps to correct any problems identified to avoid problems in an OFCCP audit.  Contact Kairos with questions you may have about compensation systems and OFCCP compensation requirements.  For a copy of the regulatory compensation PowerPoint presentation by Lisa Kaiser please contact Kairos Services.  Directive 307 is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir307.htm.

DATE:
March 1, 2013
Subject:
The New OFCCP: Preparing for Changes and Handling an Audit in 2013

Labor and Employment Web Seminar Series
The New OFCCP: Preparing for Changes and Handling an Audit in 2013
Web Seminar
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (PDT)
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (MDT)
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (CDT)
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
Register
Program:
During President Obama’s first term, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) was extremely active, including initiating aggressive compliance audits resulting in the demand and collection of higher penalties for non-compliance. During President Obama’s second term, many anticipate even greater OFCCP activity, including more audits, more regulations, and even stronger enforcement efforts. Join this panel, including a corporate Director of Employment Practices who has significant experience with OFCCP audits, a former Assistant District Director for San Antonio and Director for Denver with the OFCCP, and Fulbright labor and employment lawyers with extensive experience in OFCCP compliance and audits, as they engage in a lively and current discussion of hot OFCCP issues. The discussion will include how to prepare for an OFCCP audit, the OFCCP’s new proposals regarding individuals with disabilities and veterans, and other OFCCP compliance initiatives.
Speakers:
Lisa Kaiser – Senior AAP Project Manager, Kairos Services Inc. and former Assistant District Director for San Antonio and Director for Denver, OFCCP
Brian Greig – Partner, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (moderator)
Shafeeqa Giarratani – Senior Associate, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Mark Nagel – Director of Employment Practices, Best Buy Global Business Services
Who Should Attend:
General Counsel, Associate & Assistant Counsel, Vice Presidents & Directors
of Human Resources, and other corporate attendees as appropriate
Continuing Legal Education Information:
We have applied for 1.0 hour of California, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia CLE credit. This program has been approved for 1.0 hour of New York non-transitional CLE credit and is appropriate for experienced attorneys only. Newly admitted attorneys will not receive New York CLE credit.
Fulbright does not take responsibility for obtaining CLE accreditation for states other than California, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Virginia. If you have questions regarding CLE approval of this course in your applicable bar, please contact your bar administrator.
 We have applied for 1.0 recertification credit hours toward PHR and SPHR recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).
The use of this seal is not an endorsement by HRCI of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met HRCI’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HRCI homepage at www.hrci.org.
Registration:
Register here or e-mail Mary Tipton if you have questions. The dial-in/log-in information will be e-mailed to you a day prior to the web seminar. This web seminar is offered at no charge to clients and friends of Fulbright.

DATE:
January 5, 2013
Subject:
THE FOLLOWING NEW OFCCP REGULATORY AND OTHER CHANGES ARE COMING DURING 2013.
  • SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS TO THE OFCCP SCHEDULING NOTICE AND “ITEMIZED LISTING” WILL REQUIRE A LOT MORE DATA TO BE SUBMITTED TO OFCCP FOR COMPLIANCE EVALUATIONS/AUDITS
  • A NEW COMPENSATION DATA COLLECTION TOOL FOR COLLECTING COMPENSATION DATA FROM CONTRACTORS TO IDENTIFY COMPENSATION DISCRIMINATION
  • SECTION 503 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, AS AMENDED, WILL BE REVISED TO INCLUDE INCREASED LINKAGES WITH ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, AND REQUIRE ADDITIONAL ANALYSES REGARDING RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
  • VIETNAM ERA VETERANS’ READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT (VEVRAA) WILL BE REVISED REQUIRING MANDATORY OUTREACH, ESTABLISHMENT OF “BENCHMARKS” (GOALS?), REQUIRE SELF-IDENTIFICATION PRIOR TO OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER CHANGES
  • OFCCP SEX DISCRIMINATION GUIDELINES ARE EXPECTED TO UNDERGO SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS
  • OFCCP CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS WILL ALSO UNDERGO SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS INCLUDING LIKELY INCREASES TO FEMALE AND MINORITY GOALS
  • OFCCP CONTRACTORCOMPLIANCE MANUAL WILL BE UPDATED
  • THE OFCCP EMPLOYMENT RESOURCE REFERRAL DIRECTORY WILL BE UPDATED WHICH SHOULD MAKE THE DIRECTORY MORE USER-FRIENDLY AND BETTER ASSIST CONTRACTORS IN LINKING WITH ORGANIZATIONS THAT REACH OUT TO VETERANS, INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, MINORITIES AND WOMEN

STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS ON EACH OF THE ABOVE OFCCP REGULATORY CHANGES IN THE COMING WEEKS!

Contact us at Kairos Services, Inc. if you have any questions.

DATE:
Friday, November 16, 2012
Subject:
OFCCP National Office Releases "Heads Up" Letters

It has just come to our attention that two days ago the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) mailed out hundreds of “courtesy” letters to federal contractors and subcontractors identifying establishments for “possible scheduling of a supply and service compliance evaluation during this scheduling cycle” - meaning sometime during 2013.  These letters are intended to provide notice to companies and to “facilitate your complete, accurate and timely production of materials and information” when the listed establishment receives a scheduling letter for a compliance evaluation by the OFCCP.  These “materials and information” include affirmative action programs (AAPs) and other supporting documentation including compensation data, outreach and recruitment sources and other “good faith efforts”, applicant, hire, promotion, termination data and other related personnel documents.  It is imperative that all federal contractors and subcontractors comply with all aspects of affirmative action regulations enforced by the OFCCP.  The agency has made it very clear by word and action, especially in the last three years, that it will continue to very aggressively pursue enforcement of the regulations that prohibit discrimination and require affirmative action on the part of federal contractors and subcontractors. 

 

It should also be noted that even though your company does not receive one of these courtesy letters, your establishment(s) could still be selected for a compliance evaluation inasmuch as these notification letters are “not all-inclusive” and these notifications are “not required by law”.  Please do not fail to contact Kairos Services, Inc. immediately should you receive one of these letters in order that we can begin the preparation needed to ensure that your company is in a position to produce and submit all required materials in a complete, accurate and timely manner when you receive the OFCCP scheduling letter for the compliance evaluation.

Have a Question?

Ask the Experts at experts@KairosServicesInc.com or call our

Corporate Office at 972-369-0015

 The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice.  The opinions expressed in this email service are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the company or any individual professionals. You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained in this mailer or our websites.

 

DATE:
October 10, 2012
Subject:
Enforcement Update – OFCCP Increases Notice of Violation Findings

CONCILIATION AGREEMENT
Between
THE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
And
[MAKE SURE YOUR COMPANY NAME DOES NOT APPEAR HERE!]

The ever-changing landscape of compliance and enforcement action between the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the federal contractor community has long been a point of contention as the proverbial ‘carrot’ seems to endlessly change between a variety of levels in the agency.  While understanding and anticipating these changes is critical to limiting liability, it is the most simple actions which arguably land contractors in hot water as many fail to adequately maintain processes required under federal regulation.  These failures may ultimately result in the agency moving toward conciliation agreements, litigation, or debarment as the worst case scenario. 

The purpose of this news feed is to serve as a reminder to review your Annual Action Checklist and verify all items listed have been accomplished.  It should be noted that there has been a recent upswing in Notices of Violations and Conciliation Agreements in the federal contractor community pertaining to Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, and the implementing regulations at 41 CFR Chapter 60.

What does it all mean?  First, make sure you are listing ALL employment openings covered by your Affirmative Action Program with the local employment service office of the state employment security agency, as required by the Equal Opportunity Clauses at 41 CFR 60-250.5 and 60-300.5 (excluding executive and senior management positions, positions filled from within the organization, and positions lasting less than three days).  Second, ensure your organization is undertaking appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities that are reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, other protected veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans, special disabled veterans and Vietnam era veterans as required by 41 CFR 60-250.44(f) and 60-300.44(f).  Third, ensure your organization is undertaking appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities that are reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified Individuals with Disabilities, as required by 41 CFR 60-741.44(f). 

Each of the recommendations above, including others can be found in your “Annual Action Checklist” sent as a part of your Confidential Package with your eAAP. 

Should you have any questions, Kairos professions are available to assist your company in answering questions pertaining to your listing, outreach, and reporting obligations required by federal regulations.

The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice.  The opinions expressed in this email service are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the company or any individual professionals. You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained in this mailer or our websites.

DATE:
September 26, 2012
Subject:
VETS100/100A Filing Deadline Extended to October 31, 2012

The filing deadline for VETS100 and/or 100A report(s) in the 2012 cycle has been extended to October 31, 2012.  All paper reports and electronic files received at the Service Desk by October 31st will be included as part of the 2012 filing cycle and will not be considered late.
The U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) along with the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has supported affirmative action’s to employ and advance in employment, “covered veterans” since 2008.  Legislation codified at 41 CFR Sections 61-250 and 61-300 requires contractors and subcontractors who enter into, or modify a contract or subcontract with the federal government, and whose contract meets the criteria set forth in the above regulations, are required to report annually on their affirmative action efforts in employing veterans.
Kairos professions are available to assist your company in answering questions pertaining to your government reporting obligations, VETS determination requirements, and preparation of your VETS reports.

DATE:
August 27, 2012
Subject:
A Reversal of Scrutiny- Questions Raised Over EEOC’s Background and Credit Check Policies

On August 14, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, arbitrated by Judge Charles B. Day, rendered a decision in the case of EEOC v. FreemanIn this case, the EEOC alleged the Defendant’s use of criminal background checks resulted in discrimination adversely impacting African-American, Hispanic, and male job applicants.  The case was then later expanded by the EEOC alleging the Defendant’s use of the aforementioned procedures resulted in a nationwide pattern of discriminatory behavior. After several unsuccessful attempts at conciliation and limited discovery in the Plaintiff’s suit, the Defendant filed a motion for partial summary judgment, which the Court granted.  In the case of the nationwide claim by the EEOC, the Defendant contended that the expansion of the investigation should be temporally delineated from the date of the original charge under Section 706 of Title VII, allowing a 300-day statute of limitation.  Granting partial summary, the district court held that the “relevant date” for purposes of the 300-day statute is the “date of notice of the new charges.”

In a unexpected twist relevant to the Defendants request in the previously mentioned statute, the Defendant served the EEOC with a Notice of Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition, requiring the EEOC to produce a representative to discuss the EEOC’s policies relevant to records in hiring.  To this petition, the EEOC argued that the reproduction of their policies was not pertinent to its claims and defenses, prompting the EEOC to ask the court for a protective order.  Ultimately, Magistrate Judge Day denied the EEOC’s motion and found that the Defendant’s deposition could produce information relevant to its arguments, in spite of three subsequent counterarguments by the EEOC.

Previously, Kairos discussed the EEOC’s Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records, which placed new restrictions on employer use of background checks and credit reports for screening and employment decisions.  Given the development in this case and legislation passed in eight states, the future validity and vitality of these new laws remains to be seen...

DATE:
June 22nd, 2012
Subject:
EEOC Guidance on Employer Use of Arrest and Conviction Records

EEOC’s April 25th guidance on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions is based on previous findings related to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.  The recent guidance, consistent with three previous EEOC policy statements, states that the “use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions may, in some instances, violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”  Consistent with previous findings, EEOC indicated that the use of conviction records has a disparate impact on African American and Hispanic classes because these groups are convicted at disproportionately higher rates than the rest of the population.  
Recent guidance delineates the difference between arrest and conviction records.  Specifically, arrest does not, in itself “establish that criminal conduct has occurred” and does not in itself imply a job related reason for exclusion.  It does however state that an employer “may consider conduct underlying an arrest if the conduct makes the individual unfit for the position in question.”  In contrast, conviction records “serve as sufficient evidence that a person engaged in particular conduct.”  Nevertheless, the guidance does state that “there may be reasons for an employer not to rely on the conviction record alone when making an employment decision.” 
The recent guidance also creates a distinction between disparate treatment and disparate (adverse) impact.  Specifically, disparate treatment may occur when an employer treats criminal history information differently for different applicants or employees, based on their race or national origin.  Therefore, an employer is liable for violating Title VII when the plaintiff demonstrates that it treated a person differently because of their race, national origin, or another protected basis.  The guidance lists several kinds of evidence that may be used to establish disparate treatment including but not limited to:

  • Biased statements
  • Inconsistencies in the hiring process
  • Similarly situated comparators
  • Employment testing
  • Statistical evidence

Conversely, disparate (adverse) impact is a facially neutral policy excluding all applicants with arrests or convictions that disproportionately impact protected classes.  Here, an employer’s neutral policy or practice has the effect of disproportionately screening out a Title VII-protected group and the employer fails to demonstrate that the policy or practice is job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.  In Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad (MoPac) (1975), the Eighth Circuit held that business necessity can be determined in part by:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct
  • The time that has passed since the offense or conduct and/or completion of the sentence; and
  • The nature of the job held or sought.

In Green v. MoPac, MoPac had a policy of excluding all individuals with convictions other than minor traffic offenses.  Green was excluded because he refused induction into the military and served 21 months in prison.  The Eighth Circuit reversed the District Court stating:
We cannot conceive of any business necessity that would automatically place every individual convicted of any offense, except a minor traffic offense, in the permanent ranks of the unemployed…To deny job opportunities to these individuals because of some conduct which may be remote in time or does not significantly bear upon the particular job requirements is an unnecessarily harsh and unjust burden.
In light of the above, the new guidance does allow situations in which “an employer may be able to justify a targeted criminal records screen” based on the Green v. Missouri Pacific Railroad, depending on the “the particular criminal conduct and jobs involved, taking into consideration fact-based evidence, legal requirements, and/or relevant and available studies.” 
Nevertheless, the guidance does state that “the use of individualized assessments can help employers avoid Title VII liability by allowing them to consider more complete information.”  To this effect, two recommendations are made by the recent guidance.  The first, an individualized assessment, where the employer “informs the individual that he may be excluded because of past criminal conduct”, thereby providing the individual an opportunity to “demonstrate that the exclusion does not properly apply to him” through additional information showing “the policy as applied is not job related and consistent with business necessity.”  Relevant individualized evidence may include:

  • Incorrectly or misidentified information in the criminal record
  • The record is otherwise inaccurate
  • The facts or circumstance surrounding the offense or conduct;
  • The number of offenses for which the individual was convicted;
  • Older age at the time of conviction, or release from prison;
  • Evidence that the individual preformed the same type of work, post conviction, with the same or a different employer, with no known incidents of criminal conduct;
  • The length and consistency of employment history before and after the offense or conduct;
  • Rehabilitation efforts, e.g., education/training;
  • Employment or character references and any other information regarding fitness for the particular position; and
  • Whether the individual is bonded under a federal, state, or local bonding program.

It should be noted that if the individual does not respond to the employer’s attempt to gather additional information about his background, the employer may make its employment decision without the information.
Ultimately, the new guidance does yield to federal laws and regulations pertaining to the employment of individuals with specific convictions, whereby these individuals are not permitted to hold certain positions in industries in both the private and public sectors, including the procurement of certain occupational licenses and security clearances.  Therefore, only if an employer decides to impose an exclusion that “goes beyond the scope of a federally imposed restriction, the discretionary aspect of the policy would be subject to Title VII analysis.”
In the end, the enforcement guidance recommends the following employer best practices:

  • Eliminate policies or practices that exclude people from employment based on any criminal record.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers about Title VII and its prohibition on employment discrimination.
  •  Develop a narrowly tailored written policy and procedure for screening applicants and employees for criminal conduct.
    • Identify essential job requirements and the actual circumstances under which the jobs are performed.
    • Determine the specific offenses that may demonstrate unfitness for performing such jobs.
      • Identify the criminal offenses based on all available evidence.
    • Determine the duration of exclusions for criminal conduct based on all available evidence.
      • Include an individualized assessment.
    • Record the justification for the policy and procedures.
    • Note and keep a record of consultations and research considered in crafting the policy and procedures.
  • Train managers, hiring officials, and decision makers on how to implement the policy and procedures consistent with Title VII.
  • When asking questions about criminal records, limit inquiries to records for which exclusion would be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.
  • Keep information about applicants’ and employees’ criminal records confidential. Only use it for the purpose for which it was intended.

Please forward questions and comments to:

Nick Paul
Special Projects Manager
Kairos Services, Inc.
Telephone 972-369-0015
Email experts@KairosServicesInc.com
Website www.KairosServicesInc.com

The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice.  You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained in this mailer or our website.

DATE:
June 18th, 2012
Subject:
Contractor Websites Scrutinized for Compliance

With the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) renewed focus on the recruitment and employment of persons with disabilities, OFCCP compliance officers have become increasingly vigilant in identifying obstacles to employment adversely impacting persons with disabilities. Below we will discuss some obstacles to employment which pose the potential to adversely affect the employment of persons with disabilities in the early stages of the online application process.

Federal contractors must clearly and prominently provide a process for individuals to request reasonable accommodations during the application process, thereby minimizing the probability of obstacles detrimental to the employment of persons with disabilities. Below you will find a step-by-step process to verify some of the critical aspects to the online application process on your company website.

  • Step 1: Verify your company website displays your Affirmative Action and EEO policy statement.  Click here for additional information about effective EEO policy statements. 

    Step 2: Verify your site provides information on how persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations if they cannot apply online.  This information should include a telephone number (to a live person), a fax number, and an email address for requesting reasonable accommodations.
    Note: The contact information detailed above should be affixed to multiple pages involved in the application process from the company home page to the application itself.  This ensures seamless continuity and increased probability of the contact information being successfully received.

    Step 3: Verify your website application process can be navigated with a screen reader.  A free version of Texthelp’s BrouseAloud software can be downloaded here.

    Step 4: Verify any images pertinent in the application process have accompanying text descriptions to ensure screen reading software can properly assist an applicant in navigating the application process.  Free online programs such as WAVE and FAE are highly effective in assisting employers in this task.

    Step 5: Verify your recruiters and hiring managers can provide fully usable online and offline forms (PDFs, Word docs, braille documents, PowerPoint Materials, etc) which provide alternative and reasonable means for which persons with disabilities may apply.

The steps outlined above are not meant to be an exhaustive listing, but rather highlight some important areas which can greatly assist federal contractors in ensuring compliance with Affirmative Action and EEO regulations.

The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional advice. You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained in this mailer or our website.

DATE:
May 7th, 2012
Subject:
National Industry Liaison Group Signs Alliance with Office of Disability Employment Policy

On April 23rd, the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG), a nonprofit organization formed with the purpose of enhancing communication between federal contractors and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP), signed an Alliance Agreement with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to promote the hiring of individuals with disabilities.

The alliance agreement serves as an additional step toward developing model initiatives, policies, and procedures which will assist federal contractors in meeting enhanced recruiting, hiring and retention goals set forth under the proposed changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, currently pending approval with The Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The primary sections of the alliance agreement include:

  • Enhancing educational and training policies and support materials to ILGs and contractors related to the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities
  • The development of ODEP funded resources which provide model employment strategies
  • The development of communication initiatives (print and electronic media) to share case studies related to successful contractor practices pertaining to the above stated goals

Kairos Services has developed longstanding partnerships with ILGs to assist federal contractors with Equal Employment and Affirmative Action matters. Visit Kairos’ Principal Page to read more on involvement and positions held by key members of the Kairos team.

DATE:
April 23rd, 2012
Subject:
Kairos and SWARM 2012

From April 10th through 13th, the San Antonio Industry Liaison Group (SAILG) hosted the Southwest and Rocky Mountain (SWARM) 2012 Regional Conference in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. The conference’s all-star lineup, action packed agenda, and perfect weather set the tone for what turned out to be arguably the best regional conference of the year.

Kairos’ heavy involvement in SAILG proved to be invaluable in the preparation and execution of all aspects of the conference. Some notable contributions include:

  • Marshall Mendez: Co-Chaired the Program Committee, arranging the conference and speakers. Marshall also moderated the conference’s “super panel” made up of presenters including Mickey Silberman, Nita Beecher, Patrick Nooren, and Valerie Hoffman.
  • Norma Brito: Chaired the Marketing Committee, selling out the conference three weeks prior to its start! Norma additionally presented Pour the Foundation Before you Build the House, teaching federal contractors the necessary skills of building effective Affirmative Action Plans from the ground up.
  • Christie Hermann: Presented Taking Your Data Crunching Skills to the Next Level, an amazing “how to” class teaching midlevel Excel skills.
  • Lisa Kaiser: In partnership with Shafeeqa Giarratani, presented Behind the Scenes: What OFCCP Does With Your Data, an interactive and heavily sought after presentation. In fact, they were called to an encore presentation which lasted nearly an additional hour the following day!
  • Nick Paul: Organized and moderated Veterans & Persons with Disabilities: Proven Strategies for Outreach and Inclusion, a panel consisting of federal contractors and a VETS Manager, teaching real life strategies on how to build effective recruitment and retention strategies for veterans and persons with disabilities.
  • LaCrecia LeStourgeon and Jacob Witting were critical in the planning and execution process before, during, and after the conference. Their numerous contributions were invaluable. The conference would not have been what it was without them.

In the end, the conference received high praise from its attendees, which included persons from nearly every state in the country. Kairos, along with other chairs and contributors, have truly set the benchmark for not only future regional conferences, but national as well.

DATE:
December 28, 2011
Subject:
OFCCP RELEASES WAVE OF CORPORATE SCHEDULING ANNOUNCEMENT LETTERS (CSAL)

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has just released its anticipated wave of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL) to federal contractors. The CSAL is used by OFCCP to notify federal contractors that they have been placed on a list of establishments which are likely to undergo a compliance audit in the current scheduling cycle. This list is generated by OFCCP’s Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS) in Washington, DC.

It is important to differentiate the CSAL from an OFCCP Audit Compliance Review Scheduling Letter in that the Scheduling Letter is the actual Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved letter sent to federal contractors to initiate the compliance review. This is the process in which federal contractors submit their Affirmative Action Programs and supporting data.

What You the Need to Know About the CSAL:

  • The CSAL now is being sent out to contractors with as few as one establishment instead of multiple establishments.
  • It is important to note that the OFCCP has departed from their traditional practice of addressing the letter to a contractor’s Chief Executive Officer at their corporate headquarters. Now the CSAL will be addressed to the individual who has been charged with the responsibility of certifying and submitting the contractor’s EEO-1 Report. We suggest you place your staff person in charge of EEO-1 reports on notice of the possible receipt of a CSAL letter.
  • OFCCP is undergoing key reforms and initiatives for veterans and persons with disabilities. Consequently, contractors should ensure proper submission of their VETS-100 reports and verify all records related to individuals with disabilities are up-to-date and accurate.
  • OFCCP is in the process of revising its Compliance Review Scheduling Letter. If approved by OMB, OFCCP will have greater access to a contractor’s records to include significantly more data required for the initial audit submission including additional compensation information.
  • If you receive a CSAL you should be prepared to respond promptly to a scheduling letter. The CSAL states, in part, that “This letter is intended to facilitate your complete, accurate and timely production of materials…when you receive a scheduling letter…scheduling you for a compliance evaluation….”.

If you have received a CSAL we encourage you to contract Kairos Services immediately upon receipt.

IF YOU ARE NOT CURRENTLY A KAIROS CLIENT CALL US FOR A ONE HOUR CONSULTATION AT NO CHARGE!!

DATE:
December 19, 2011
Subject:
SOUTHWEST AND ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION (SWARM) 2012 CONFERENCE AGENDA
Tuesday, April 10
REGISTRATION & PRE-CONFERENCE
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Registration
1:00 - 1:30 pm
Pre-Conference Opening Session
1:30 - 2:45 pm
Legal Updates in Higher Education
M. Kaye DeWalt/Littler Mendelson
Legal Updates in Health Care - Tricare & Other Issues
Leslie Selig Byrd/Bracewell & Giuliani
2:45 – 3:05 pm
Break
3:05 – 4:15 pm
Health Care Workshop (TBD)
Panel: Dealing With Compliance Audits in Higher Education
Dr. Bonnie Blankmeyer/UTHSCS
Dr. Joni Baker/Texas A&M
4:20 – 5:30 pm
Health Care/Tricare
Melissa Speer/OFCCP SWARM Regional Director
OFCCP Compliance Reviews of Colleges and Universities
Speaker: TBD
Wednesday, April 11
CONFERENCE DAY 1
8:30 - 9:45 am
Remember the Alamo!
Hallerin Hill/Motivational Speaker & Grammy-nominated singer/ songwriter
9:45- 10:15 am
Break & Exhibits
10:15 - 11:30 am
Affirmative Action 101 – Understanding What It Takes to Develop an OFCCP Compliant Plan
Nicole Butts/Berkshire Consulting

Who Am I and What Do I Do? The Roles of HR
Professionals, Managers, Consultants & Attorneys

Jeremy Mancheski/Outsolve
Richele Taylor/Fisher & Phillips LLP
Celia Joseph/Fisher & Phillips LLP

Taking Your Data Crunching Skills to the Next Level
Christie Hermann/Kairos Services
11:45 am - 1:30 pm
Lunch
Keynote: Patricia Shui/Director (invited) of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program
1:45 - 3:00 pm
OFCCP Update: An Inside-the-Beltway Perspective
David Cohen/DCI Consulting

OFCCP’s Proposed ‘Game-Changing’ Section 503 Regulations
Valerie Hoffman & Regina Grattan/Seyfarth Shaw LLP

5 Things You Need to Know About Social Media Recruiting
Nancy Holland/Direct Employers
3:00 - 3:30 pm
Break & Exhibits
3:30 - 4:45 pm
OFCCP’s New Scheduling Letter: Practical and Strategic Suggestions for the New Desk Audit Submission
Alissa Horvitz & Joshua Roffman/Littler Mendelson PC

Pay Discrimination: Enhanced Enforcement, Increased
Litigation & What You Should Do Now to Respond

Mickey Silberman/Jackson Lewis LLP

How to Get Affirmative Action By In from Recruiters and
Executive and Mid Level Managers

Alex Gonzalez & Julia Mendez/People Fluent

Diversity & the Generational Shifts in the Law
Elizabeth Campbell/Andrews Kurth LLP
5:00 - 6:00 pm
Reception & Exhibits
6:30 - 10:00 pm
Welcome Dinner & Reception
Thursday, April 12
CONFERENCE DAY 2
8:00 - 8:30 am
General Session Kathleen Martinez (invited) /Assistant Secretary/DOL Office of Disability Employment Programs
8:30 - 9:15 am
General Session: Tragedy to Triumph: Winning Strategies for Life Jeff Glassbrenner/Ironman World Champion & 2004 National Champion Wheelchair Basketball
9:15 - 10:30 am
ADA Amendments: What’s in the New Regulations
Rodney Klein/EEOC

Behind the Scenes: What Does OFCCP Do With Your Data?
Shafeeqa Giarratani/Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Lisa Kaiser/Kairos Services

“How Can I Find ‘em If They’re Camouflaged?” How to
Source Military Veteran Talent

Lisa Rosser/The Value of a Veteran

2010 Census Update:
Ana Montalva, National Office of the Census
10:30 - 11:00 am
Break & Exhibits
11:00 - 12:15 pm
Panel: Staying Ahead with a Comprehensive Compliance
Plan -- Save the Complexities”

Mark Nagle/Best Buy
Matthew Camardella/Jackson Lewis
Mark Andrekovich/MAXIMUS

Proposed VEVRAA Changes: What We Should Expect and
What We Can Do to Prepare

Tony Magaro/Southwest Research Institute
Rachel Gudaitis/Southwest Research Institute

Panel: Veterans & Persons with Disabilities: Proven
Strategies for Outreach and Inclusion

Lynn Broussard/Blue Cross Blue Shield of LA
David Vogt/VETS DOL
Moderator: Nick Paul/Kairos Services
12:15 - 2:00 pm
Lunch
Jacqueline A. Berrien (invited) /Chair of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission
2:00 - 3:15 pm
General Session
Melissa Speer/SWARM OFCCP Regional Director
Robert Beel (invited) /SWARM OFCCP Solicitors Office
3:15 - 3:45 pm
Break & Exhibits
3:45 - 5:15 pm
Recent Significant OFCCP Compliance Developments
John Fox/Fox, Wang & Morgan PC

Proper High Stakes Test Use: How to Avoid a Federal Test Discrimination Claim
Dr. Richard Fischer/OFCCP National Office

EEO Analysis Boot Camp
Patrick Noreen/ Biddle Consulting

Panel: Changing Nature of Equal Pay Enforcement: Recommendations for Conducing Contemporary Analyses
Michael Aamodt/DCI Consulting
Eileen Curtayne/DCI Consulting
Eric Dunleavy/DCI Consulting
Joanna Colosimo/DCI Consulting
6:45 - 11:30 pm
Denim to Diamonds Dinner & Reception
Friday, April 13
CLOSING DAY
8:30 - 9:45 am
General Session OFCCP District Directors
9:45 - 10:15 am
Break & Exhibits
10:15 am - 12:00 pm
General Session: Navigating the EEO Landscape: Pay Equity, Veterans’ Affirmative Action Requirements and Beyond
Mickey Silberman/Jackson Lewis
David Cohen/DCI Consulting
Nita Beecher/Berkshire
Patrick Nooren/Biddle Consulting
Moderator: Marshall Mendez/Kairos Services
12:00 - 12:30 pm
General Closing Session
Special Announcements
Closing Door Prizes
For more information or to register visit:
http://www.swarmconference2012.org/
DATE:
September 19, 2011
Subject:
NEW OFCCP REGULATORY AND OTHER CHANGES ARE COMING

SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS TO THE OFCCP SCHEDULING NOTICE AND ATTACHED ITEMIZED LISTING WILL REQUIRE SUBSTANTIALLY MORE DATA TO BE SUBMITTED TO OFCCP FOR DESK AUDIT - LIKELY PUT IN PLACE EARLY 2012

NEW COMPENSATION DATA COLLECTION TOOL FOR COLLECTING COMPENSATION DATA FROM CONTRACTORS TO IDENTIFY COMPENSATION DISCRIMINATION

SECTION 503 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, AS AMENDED WILL BE REVISED TO INCLUDE INCREASED LINKAGES WITH ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, REQUIRE MORE SUBSTANTIAL ANALYSES REGARDING RECRUITMENT/PLACEMENTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

VIETNAM ERA VETERANS’ READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT (VEVRAA) WILL BE REVISED TO PROVIDE FOR MANDATORY OUTREACH, ESTABLISH “BENCHMARKS” (GOALS?), REQUIRE SELF-IDENTIFICATION PRIOR TO OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER CHANGES

A NPRM WILL BE ISSUED IN FEBRUARY 2012 REGARDING THE OFCCP SEX DISCRIMINATION GUIDELINES. IT’S EXPECTED THAT THESE GUIDELINES WILL UNDERGO SUBSTANTIAL REVISION

OFCCP CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS WILL ALSO UNDERGO SUBSTANTIAL REVISIONS INCLUDING LIKELY INCREASES TO FEMALE AND MINORITY GOALS. NPRM SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IN NOVEMBER 2011

OFCCP CONTRACTOR COMPLIANCE MANUAL WILL BE UPDATED AND SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IN THE FALL OF 2011

THE OFCCP EMPLOYER RESOURCE REFERRAL DIRECTORY WILL BE UPDATED SOMETIME IN THE FALL OF 2011 WHICH SHOULD BE AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENT TO ASSIST CONTRACTORS IN LINKING WITH VETS, INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES, MINORITIES AND WOMEN

Contact us at Kairos Services, Inc. if you have any questions.

DATE:
August 19, 2011
Subject:
OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu Announces Good Faith Effort is Not Enough

During OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu’s presentation before the Annual NILG Conference in New Orleans on July 27, 2011, she announced that, “It is my belief that affirmative action can no longer be defined by ‘good faith’ efforts” ”. She went on to say that the OFCCP will be making several changes in the regulations they enforce as well as procedural changes that will provide employers with quantitative standards such as inclusion of availability analysis and goals for veterans and individuals with disabilities. Good faith efforts have been from the inception of Executive Order 11246 and later in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act at the core of the regulatory agency’s enforcement efforts. The OFCCP regulations require that Federal contractors and subcontractors make every good faith effort to reach out to minorities and females so that their applicant flow, hires and workforce mirror the areas from which these contractors and subcontractors recruit and employ. Ms. Shiu’s comments make it clear that, although good faith will continue to be important in the OFCCP arsenal, the agency will be emphasizing more hard and fast quantitative standards to which contractors must adhere and emphasis will be on contractors achieving results and being accountable and not just exerting good faith effort and not achieving positive results.

Director Shiu listed a number of initiatives that the OFCCP will be working on in order to bring about more effective enforcement including the following listed below.

New compensation analysis guidelines/compensation collection tool will replace the compensation guidelines issued by the OFCCP in 2006 [Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “Non-Discrimination in Compensation; Compensation Data Collection Tool was released on August 10, 2011; Federal contractors are encouraged to review this document and submit comments to OFCCP no later than October 11, 2011; document is attached to this notice for easy reference

The Itemized Listing (attached to OFCCP audit letters) will be finalized by September 30, 2011

OFCCP, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice will be working more closely than ever before in terms of sharing information and developing and referring cases for litigation

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act should be out for public comment in August 2011

Final Rule on Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Readjustment Assistance Act will be out in Spring of 2012

Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Construction Regulations will be out in November 2011

Sex Discrimination regulations will be updated in February 2012

The new OFCCP Compliance Manual is very close to completion and will be available in Fall 2011

Contact us at Kairos Services, Inc. if you have any questions.

DATE:
July 5, 2011
Subject:
More Changes Coming from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)By Way of Proposed Revisions to OFCCP's Compliance Review Scheduling Letter
Background

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced on May 12, 2011 that it proposes to make major changes to its compliance review scheduling letter and its attached itemized listing that it uses in scheduling Federal contractors and subcontractors for compliance reviews/evaluations. The proposed changes require approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The process may take several months – until somewhere around late 2011. Here is a description of the more important proposed changes that contractors should be aware of and be prepared for in future compliance reviews if the OFCCP succeeds in getting these proposed changes in place.

I-9 Inspections Now a Thing of the Past – This is Good!

First thing that should be mentioned is a positive for the contractor community and that is that OFCCP will no longer be in the business of conducting I-9 inspections. That change has gone into effect already. Current compliance review scheduling letters no longer reference I-9 inspections nor does the proposed scheduling letter.

More Formidable Requirements of Proposed Scheduling Letter

All other proposed changes to the scheduling letter are much more formidable as described below.

VETS 100 and VETS 100A Reports

OFCCP will verify contractor compliance with the regulations issued by the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) requiring contractors covered under Section 4212 to file an annual report on their employment and hiring of protected veterans – namely VETS 100 and/or VETS 100A Reports. OFCCP will be asking that those reports be submitted for three years from the date of the scheduling letter. Currently, OFCCP asks contractors to submit those reports only for one year and sometime does not ask for them at all. A three year review will provide OFCCP with opportunities to identify trends that it was not previously able to identify under the current scheduling letter.

More In-Depth Compliance Reviews

OFCCP indicates in the proposed scheduling letter that the compliance review may progress in three phases: a desk audit, an on-site review, and an off-site analysis. Recent statements made by OFCCP officials in conjunction with this proposed change suggests that OFCCP will likely conduct more in-depth compliance reviews in the future such as full desk audits in all compliance reviews.

Record Keeping – An Area of Focus

The proposed scheduling letter states that “failure to preserve complete and accurate records constitutes non-compliance with your obligations as a Federal contractor or subcontractor” and that “once the evaluation begins, you are required to maintain all personnel and employment records described in the regulations enforced by the OFCCP until the final disposition of the evaluation.” Although this statement is incorporated in OFCCP regulations, inclusion of this statement in the proposed scheduling letter is apparently emphasizing OFCCP’s elevated interest in the area of record keeping. Therefore, it is now more important than ever to maintain complete and accurate personnel and employment records.

Compensation

The proposed scheduling letter requests a lot more information than the current scheduling letter with regard to compensation. Here’s what it would ask under the proposed letter relative to compensation that it does not ask under the current letter.

  • Provide gender and race and ethnicity information
  • Provide EEO-1 category and job group
  • Provide base salary, wage rate, and hours worked
  • Separately list bonuses, incentives, commissions, and overtime
  • “May” provide additional information such as education, experience, location, performance, and grade
  • “Should” provide policies or documents that explain factors and reasoning used to determine compensation
  • Requires submission of compensation data for all employees as of February 1 regardless of the date of the AAP or date of receipt of scheduling letter.
  • Compensation data must be submitted by both job title and job group.
Applicant Flow and Hire Data

The proposed scheduling letter will have contractors submit information for applicants for whom the contractors do not have race or gender information because applicants did not volunteer to self-identify. It’s unclear as to how the OFCCP would use this data but it could be used to show that the contractor has a bad reputation in the community with regard to employing women or minorities if only a small percentage of women and/or minorities self-identify. Or it could be used to justify OFCCP using availability data in lieu of the contractor’s applicant data to conduct its impact ratio analyses. Either scenario could be very problematic to the contractor community.

Promotions

The proposed scheduling letter will require employers to submit data showing actual pools of candidates who applied or were considered for promotions rather than showing general pools of candidates including those who applied and those who did not as required currently.

Terminations

The proposed scheduling letter will require actual pools of candidates for termination as opposed to general pools of candidates as required under the current scheduling letter. It will also ask for both voluntary and involuntary terminations.

Employment Leave Policies and Employee Handbook

Under the proposed scheduling letter, contractors would be required to submit copies of leave policies including pregnancy leave and religious accommodation policies which many contractors do not have. Those that have them are typically incorporated in employer handbooks that contain many other policies unrelated to OFCCP’s review of contractor employment practices. OFCCP will ask for the handbook that may include all these unrelated contractor employment practices that OFCCP examines during their compliance reviews. If the proposed regulations are approved, it would be advisable to maintain a separate handbook that includes leave policies including pregnancy and religious and related policies and another handbook that contains other policies unrelated to employment practices.

Records of Accommodations

The proposed scheduling letter requires submission of records of accommodations made to individuals with disabilities and covered veterans. This requirement is not included in the current scheduling letter.

Be More Vigilant Than Ever; Always Be Prepared!

Federal contractors and subcontractors beware that OFCCP is asking for a lot more information but is still giving you only 30 days to submit your response to the OFCCP pursuant to the proposed scheduling letter. So it’s now more important than ever to be ready when you get a scheduling letter and the best way to be ready is to have a current compliant AAP in place and having addressed and corrected all issues identified in the Confidential Executive Briefing Report that is provided with all AAPs that Kairos Services prepares. Be sure to contact Kairos Services for any assistance you need in addressing those issues.

DATE:
May 3, 2011
Subject:
Former District Office Director Lisa Kaiser joins Kairos

Kairos is pleased to announce the addition of Lisa Kaiser to its growing list of former OFCCP managers serving as consultants. Ms. Kaiser comes to Kairos Services, Inc. from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP), where she served as the Dallas District Office Director of the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Region (SWARM), since 2007. Prior to that, Ms. Kaiser was the Director of Operations for the OFCCP SWARM Region, and the San Antonio OFCCP Assistant District Director. Ms. Kaiser is joining Kairos as a Senior AAP Project Manager. Ms. Kaiser will be providing Kairos clients with a full range of services including auditing, affirmative action program development and implementation, reviewing, and training. Prior to her career at OFCCP, Ms. Kaiser had an extensive military background, serving with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) office as a prosecuting and criminal defense attorney since 1999. Ms. Kaiser’s experience, professionalism, and analytical skills make her a valuable addition to the Kairos team and our clients.

DATE:
May 1, 2011
Subject:
Update on President Obama's Executive Order 13548: Increasing Employment of People with Disabilities in Federal Agencies

The purpose of Executive Order 13548 is to make the federal government, the nation’s number one employer, the largest employer of persons with disabilities in the United States. In total, the program intends to add 100,000 workers with disabilities hired into the Federal government by 2015. Executive Order 13548 continues its way through the OPM and OMB process. For the latest updates and program structure follow the link provided below.
http://www.dol.gov/odep/federal-hire/timeline.htm

DATE:
April 25, 2011
Subject:
DOL Proposes Rule to Improve Employment of Protected Veterans

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced a proposed rule to strengthen affirmative action requirements of federal contractors and subcontractors for veterans protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Veterans protected by VEVRAA include those with disabilities and those recently discharged as well as those who served during a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized. The proposed rule will be published in the April 26 edition of the Federal Register.

"At the Labor Department, we support veterans as they seek meaningful ways to apply their talents to expand the American economy. By re-examining our affirmative action requirements, we will ensure that our nation's veterans are protected against discrimination and provided equal opportunity in the workforce," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu.

The award of a federal contract comes with a number of responsibilities. Among them are complying with non-discrimination and affirmative action provisions, engaging in meaningful and effective efforts to recruit and employ veterans protected under VEVRAA, and maintaining accurate records on affirmative action efforts. Failure to abide by these responsibilities may result in various sanctions, from withholding progress payments to termination of existing contracts and debarment from receiving future ones.

The framework articulating a contractor's responsibilities with respect to affirmative action, recruitment and placement has remained unchanged since 1976. Increasing numbers of veterans are returning from tours of duty, and many are faced with substantial obstacles in finding employment upon leaving the service.

The proposed rule clarifies mandatory job listing requirements, under which a contractor must provide job vacancy and contact information for each of its locations to an appropriate employment service delivery system. The rule proposes requiring contractors to engage in at least three specified types of outreach and recruitment efforts each year. In addition, the proposed rule would require that all applicants be invited to self-identify as a "protected veteran" before they are offered a job. Increasing data collection on job referrals, applicants and hires, and requiring contractors to establish hiring benchmarks to assist in measuring the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts also are proposed.

Comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking must be submitted by June 27. Visit the federal e-rulemaking portal, http://www.regulations.gov, to submit comments.

In addition to VEVRAA, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Executive Order 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.

DATE:
February 3, 2011
Subject:
DOL Settles Gender Discrimination Case for $1.65 million

Federal contractor Green Bay Dressed Beef LLC will pay $1.65 million in back wages, interest and benefits to 970 women who were subjected to systemic discrimination by the company. The settlement follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which found that the women were rejected for general laborer positions at the company's Green Bay plant in 2006 and 2007.

"This is the 21st century in the United States of America. There is no such thing as a "man's job,'" said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "I am pleased that my department has been able to work out a resolution with Green Bay Dressed Beef, and that the settlement not only compensates the victims of discrimination but also provides jobs for many of these women."

In addition to financial compensation, the beef supplier will extend a total of 248 offers of employment to affected women as positions become available. The company already has hired more than 60 of the women in the original class.

During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that the company had violated Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender in their employment practices. Under the terms of the conciliation agreement worked out between the Labor Department and the contractor, the $1.65 million will be divided among the affected women who return timely notifications. The company also has agreed to undertake extensive self-monitoring and corrective measures to ensure that all employment practices fully comply with the law and will immediately correct any discriminatory practices.

Two of Green Bay Dressed Beef’s largest clients are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Defense — as one of the largest suppliers of beef products for the federal school lunch program and one of the leading providers of beef products to American military personnel worldwide.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP's legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.

DATE:
January 6, 2011
Subject:
EEOC Approves ADAAA Final Regulations

The long awaited approval by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of its draft “final regulations” under the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) took place during the week of December 27, 2010. It is likely that the EEOC made changes to the proposed regulations it drafted back in 2009 that it now refers to as the draft final regulations. The EEOC sent these draft final regulations to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. OMB has up to 90 days to review the regulations although it is likely it will take less than 90 days because the EEOC has asked for an “expedited review.” The regulations will not be made public until after the OMB review. Kairos will keep you informed of any other developments in this process.

DATE:
January 3, 2011
Subject:
Thomas M. Dowd Joins OFCCP as Director of the Division of Program Operations

The OFCCP has added a new member to their senior leadership team at the national office. Thomas M. Dowd joins OFCCP as Director of the Division of Program Operations where he will oversee the Functional Affirmative Action Program Unit and DPO’s three branches: Enforcement and Appeals, Field Liaison Operations and Technical Assistance, and Quality Assurance. Tom has more than twenty years experience managing employment and training programs at the local, state, regional, and national levels. He joined the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration in 1994 as Division Director for Indian and Native American Employment and Training Programs. He rose through the ranks at ETA serving as Associate Regional Administrator in the Rocky Mountain Region, Regional Administrator in the Mid-Atlantic, founding Director of the Business Relations Group, Deputy Assistant Secretary, and, most recently, Administrator for the agency. From 2006-2007, Tom was tapped by the Department of the Interior to help establish the newly created Bureau of Indian Education where he was responsible for managing an $800 million national Indian education system serving 48,000 students at 184 federally-funded schools in 23 states. Upon returning to ETA, Tom played an integral role in leading the agency’s strategic implementation of research, demonstration projects, evaluations of public workforce programs, and oversight of $4.5 billion in workforce programs and activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In making the announcement of Mr. Dowd’s appointment, Ms. Patricia Sheiu, Director of the OFCCP, said, “I am confident that Tom will provide excellent leadership for DPO at a time when we are aiming to significantly increase our enforcement activities and ensure that federal contractors and subcontractors meet their obligations to create safe, fair, and diverse workplaces. Given his long history at DOL, his work in both national and regional offices, and his exemplary reputation for management, I believe he will be a great asset to our agency.”

DATE:
November 15, 2010
Subject:
Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL)

Kairos Services, Inc. received notice today that Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), will continue having OFCCP send out the Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL) to contractors. Since Ms. Shiu’s appointment as OFCCP’s director, the agency had been evaluating whether or not to continue sending out CSALs. The CSAL is a courtesy notification to a chief executive officer of a parent corporation that two or more of its establishments are on the list of contractor establishments selected to undergo a compliance evaluation during the scheduling cycle. The list is generated from the OFCCP’s Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS). The CSAL is not the actual letter scheduling a compliance evaluation. These CSALs are sent by the OFCCP to provide advance notice for establishments that have been identified for potential compliance reviews. The OFCCP has stated that the next round of CSALs will be mailed out in the next two months. Please alert the office of your CEO of this important announcement.

DATE:
June 24, 2010
Subject:
Notification Requirement

Please see the OFCCP Website Notice below that references the “New Employee Notification Requirements for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.” The notification which went into effect on June 21, 2010 requires that Federal contractors and subcontractors post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). OFCCP has shared responsibility for enforcing these requirements with the DOL’s Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), the primary enforcement agency. Additional information can be found on the OFCCP Website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/ . The website provides sources where the Notice can be obtained, a copy of the Executive Order, an OFCCP webinar on this subject, Final Rule – Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor laws, and instructions to OFCCP staff for conducting compliance verification during their onsite phase of their compliance evaluations/audits.

The content provided herein by Kairos Services, Inc. is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.  You should seek independent advice from one of our professionals before acting upon any opinion or information contained throughout our websites or complementary electronic communications.