Welcome to this special edition of HudsonMann’s OFCCP video updates. We’re just back from the national industry liaison group conference in Anaheim California, and we’ve got some great updates from OFCCP to share with you. The conference team put together a fabulous conference and OFCCP was an active participant. Acting Director Craig Leen, was in attendance with a group of OFCCP’s top leaders. While there’s no way we can summarize three and a half days of sessions into this short video, we will hit a few highlights from OFCCP.
A recurring message from nearly all OFCCP personnel was the need for 100% compliance in the contractor community. Since OFCCP only audits a fraction of that amount, they are making changes to help promote compliance outside of just the audit process. These changes are perhaps best captured by looking at the three major priorities Director Leen has set for the organization:
While we touched on these in our last video update, NILG allowed us to hear more detail directly from the agency. Let’s talk transparency first.
The message is clear that OFCCP has taken major steps to improve transparency. The PDN directive and publishing OFCCP’s scheduling methodology are clear proof of this. Director Leen says this transparency should extend to compliance evaluations, as well. Whenever a compliance officer requests additional information, they should accompany that request with a reason for the request and it should be limited in scope.
This commitment to transparency coincides with OFCCP’s next priority area: certainty. This was most apparent in discussions around compensation enforcement and directive 307, which currently governs OFCCP’s approach to compensation reviews.
All OFCCP personnel made it clear that pay equity will continue to be a priority for the agency. The focus on comp isn’t going anywhere. But what that looks like may see a big change. OFCCP confirmed that they are evaluating directive 307 which could be replaced with new guidance. This is where Director Leen’s commitment to certainty became clearest, he said if the agency is going to focus on pay discrimination, contractors should know what will meet compliance. This seems to signal a change of approach from the prior administration that often kept compensation review practices very close to the vest. Additional certainty in this area could greatly improve compliance and non-discrimination. Companies may be more willing to look at pay on a voluntary basis if they have a better understanding of how OFCCP would look at the same data.
OFCCP’s efficiency is also top-of-mind for Director Leen. He would like to see desk audits without indicators of discrimination closed within 45 days and said that slow responses from the agency are unacceptable. At the same time, he expressed concern about the number of contractors attempting to deny OFCCP’s access to information they are entitled to under their jurisdiction. In other words, if the agency is going to be more open and transparent, then contractors should not be fighting the agency every step of the way.
There is one final theme from the conference that we wanted to share with you, and that was the focus on the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all areas of employment. There were some excellent sessions on best practices for recruiting and retaining individuals with disabilities and Director Leen also spoke openly on his personal passion for ensuring people with disabilities don’t face discrimination in employment. Focused reviews for Section 503 and VEVRAA compliance are being discussed within the agency, and it’s clear that the time is here to make sure your organization is doing what it can to increase the employment and advancement of individuals with disabilities.
HudsonMann continues to look for ways to assist our clients with outreach and we’re proud to announce our partnership with Disability Solutions, a national non-profit consulting practice which partners with top companies to successfully fill talent gaps by implementing a proven approach to attract, hire and retain talent with disabilities.
That’s all for now. If you’d like more updates, make sure you use the link in the description to subscribe to our OFCCP compliance newsletter. And if you haven’t checked into your local ILG, now’s a good time to do so.