Highlights from OFCCP Director Craig Leen’s Comments

OFCCP Director Leen provided insight into the agency’s current and future direction at the 2019 National Industry Liaison Group Conference, detailing plans extending as far as three years.  In his opening remarks to a packed auditorium in Milwaukee, Director Leen stated:

“If you remember one thing from my speech, remember this. It’s time in this country that we treat people with disabilities the same way we treat people based on gender or race or other areas that we protect, that they’re able to be fully included in employment to the same extent as every American.  That’s something that needs to be a fundamental principle of what we do at this agency.  What the EEOC does and what we do across the country…It’s the focus of OFCCP this year.”

Even if you’re not on the current Section 503 Focused Review list, all types of OFCCP compliance audits are expected to vastly increase in the next two years, with OFCCP seeking to double and even triple the number of reviews. Elaborating further, Director Leen stated:

“I believe we can make an impact for individuals with disabilities similar to the impact this agency has made with race and gender issues; in compensation, hiring, and promotions, and I feel it is time that the agency goes there, and I believe this is something that will continue across administrations.”

Now more than ever, seamless compliance is of the utmost importance as it relates to individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.  Without question, individuals with disabilities are the Director’s primary focus, with increasing attention being paid to compensation differences and promotional opportunities. We strongly encourage Federal contractors to visit OFCCP’s Section 503 Focused Review Landing Page.  Director Leen outlined the following best practices related to Section 503:

  • Maintain a centralized reasonable accommodation system
  • Utilize accessible online recruiting tools
  • Obtain senior leadership support, including correspondence and videos (if possible)
  • Coordinate with state and local vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Create a comprehensive and welcoming self-identification program
  • Create a disability inclusion program
  • Create and utilize employee resource groups
  • Appoint a Chief Accessibility Officer

OFCCP uploaded a “Best Practices for Creating an Inclusive Workplace” document with more detail that can be accessed by clicking here.

Highlights from EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic’s Comments

EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic’s remarks made it very clear that the collection of EEO-1 Component 2 data for the previous two years will continue to take place and must be submitted by the September 30 deadline.  After the EEO-1 Component 2 data is submitted to National Opinion Research Center (NORC), she stated EEOC will submit the data for “data quality and data utility studies” with a “quasi-governmental organization” around February 1, 2020.  These studies are expected to take up to the remainder of 2020, with results published in 2021. If you have specific EEO-1 Component 2 questions or would like to request assistance with filing your EEO-1 Component 2 data, please contact Jennifer McAlister.

Nick Paul
Director of Compliance

OFCCP Director Leen addressing the 2019 Industry Liaison Group (ILG) National Conference