Even though this year is an election year and the President is in a lame duck situation, it does not mean that the Department of Labor and its enforcement division the O.F.C.C.P. are taking any time off in anticipation of new leadership coming in next year.
In-fact this year with the newly finalized rules regarding salary transparency in place, the O.F.C.C.P. has politely let everyone know that there will be more agents in the field doing audits and there will be an emphasis on the three main initiatives that they are charged with enforcing:
Executive Order 11246, as amended prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action to ensure that all employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of disability and requires affirmative action in the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities.
The Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended (VEVRAA) prohibits discrimination against specified categories of veterans protected by the Act and requires affirmative action in the employment of such veterans.
Directly from the D.O.L. news center and their tips and suggestions, they have made public the biggest issues and what they will be very specifically looking at when evaluating and auditing an employer. As an ongoing and integral part of any field audit will be the following:
Conduct and document Good Faith Efforts (GFE’s) towards Veterans, Minorities and individuals with disabilities. You will be required to keep this documentation for three years.
Compliance when posting job listings with your company’s published corporate Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS).
Update job ads to spell out your EEO policy. Provide additional company information to appropriate ESDS, simple EOE by choice tag line will not be acceptable in the very near future.
Viewing documentation that will show that part of your company plan is to implement new self-identification procedures for all employees and applicants.
Conduct a self-assessment of GFE’s, any and all VERVAA Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) notes and plans, proof of provided written notice of AAP.
All of these things are extremely important and easily completed and verified. Here are a few tips and suggestions that may be applicable to both your corporate situation as well as your bottom line. It is always best and less expensive to be preventive than punitive.
Updating your EEO message is simple and self- explanatory. Compliance when posting in accordance with the company’s ESDS is fairly easy and should only require a little bit of diligence on the part of those responsible for placing the job postings, to make sure that what is put out matches the company ESDS.
Good Faith Efforts (GFE’s), while sometimes considered to be in a grey area as far as the company is concerned, GFE’s have never been a question for the O.F.C.C.P. They determine a company’s commitment through visible outreach initiatives (both minority and community). Auditors will rely on what they actually see as examples of the company’s GFE’s, this is the only subjective or grey area that exists and it is at the discretion of the field auditor.
The way to insure both acceptance and compliance is to utilize the best and most cost effective resources available. One such example of the handful of Diversity, Minority recruitment and GFE compliance vehicles available is the Equality Magazines family of Diversity Recruitment options. These, time, effort, and money saving options are perfect examples of a specifically targeted minority community outreach and job posting.
In using a specifically targeted recruitment vehicle such as the example mentioned above in your efforts, you as a company have accomplished at least two elements of what is necessary. You can be both compliant as to some of the O.F.C.C.P. regulations and be a good corporate citizen to the specific minority community in which you are recruiting from or located in. This is what the D.O.L. and the O.F.C.C.P. look for when evaluating the company’s GFE’s.
Remember you are not alone, there are options available to you that will help you avoid the pitfalls of company complacency and make your job easier too. Sometimes all you need do is ask!
About the Author
Mark Cohen has been working for twenty years to promote diversity and equality in the workplace through minority recruitment and community outreach. In his position as VP and Director of New Business Development at Equality Magazines. Mark has become a recognized authority on minority recruitment and good faith compliance efforts.
For more information about Equality Magazines visit http://www.equalitymagazines.com