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Archive for December, 2011

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING VETS-100 REPORTS

December 23rd, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The U.S. Department of Labor has posted a special announcement on their website regarding the 2011 VETS 100 filing cycle.

According to the announcement, the filing deadline for VETS-100 reports in the 2011 cycle has been extended to January 15, 2012. At that time the VETS-100 application will be removed from public service until further notice.

For more information, refer to the special announcement on the Department of Labor website.

Website link:  http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/fcp/main.htm

This information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

OFCCP SCHEDULES WEBINARS TO REVIEW PROPOSED SECTION 503 REGULATIONS

December 17th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The OFCCP has announced that it will hold two webinars to review its recently proposed Section 503 regulation.

The webinars are scheduled for December 20 and December 21 at 2:00pm Eastern.

The OFCCP has announced that during the presentation Policy Branch Chief Naomi Levin will review the highlights of the NPRM and tell how the public can provide comments on the proposed rule.

According to OFCCP, Ms. Levin joined the Department of Labor in May of 2008, after more than 20 years as a Senior Attorney at EEOC.  Her accomplishments at EEOC include co-authoring the Commission’s original ADA regulations, conducting numerous ADA and Rehabilitation Act trainings around the country, and serving as a Special Assistant and advisor to two EEOC Commissioners.

Registration information is available at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/363191569 and https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/538846432.

OFCCP POSTS NEW FAQS REGARDING PROPOSED RULE ON SECTION 503

December 14th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The OFCCP has posted an FAQ on its recently proposed rule regarding Section 503.

Much of the recent discussion in the federal contractor community regarding the proposed rule has centered on the “utilization goal.”  Here is what OFCCP says about the utilization goal in its FAQ:

“The NPRM proposes to establish a national utilization goal of 7 percent for the employment of individuals with disabilities in each job group of the contractor’s workforce. OFCCP invites public comment on this proposed goal, and on the potential use of a utilization range of between 4 percent and 10 percent in lieu of a single national utilization goal.

To annually evaluate their utilization of individuals with disabilities, the NPRM proposes that contractors use the job groups established for utilization analyses under Executive Order (E.O. 11246). The proposed goal is derived primarily from disability data collected as part of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). (Visit http://www.census.gov/acs/www/ for additional information about the ACS.)

The goal is neither a quota nor a hiring ceiling, and a failure to attain the goal does not constitute a violation of Section 503 or OFCCP’s regulations. Rather, the goal will provide both contractors and OFCCP with a quantifiable measure for assessing success in recruiting and employing individuals with disabilities. It is a tool to help identify any remaining barriers to equal employment.”

The complete FAQ is available here.

Also reference:  “OFCCP Publishes Proposal to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities” OFCCP website.

EEOC DISCUSSION LETTER ON ISSUES RELATED TO ADOPTING A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA JOB REQUIREMENT

December 12th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently posted an “informal discussion letter” on its website that responded to a question about the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, and issues related to requiring students with learning disabilities to take “Gateway tests” or “end-of-course assessments” in order to receive their full high school diplomas.

The EEOC’s discussion letter, which is not considered an official EEOC opinion, offered advice for employers that adopt a high school diploma requirement for a job.  A link to the full discussion letter is here.

This information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

OFCCP RELEASES LONG-AWAITED PROPOSED RULE ON SECTION 503; INCLUDES HIRING GOAL OF 7 PERCENT

December 9th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The OFCCP’s proposed new rule to strengthen the affirmative action requirements established in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is published in today’s edition of the Federal Register.

A link to the proposed rule is here.

Public comments on the proposed rule are due by February 7, 2012.

DOL SECRETARY HILDA SOLIS AND OFCCP DIRECTOR PAT SHIU APPLAUD OFCCP PROPOSED RULE ON SECTION 503; PROPOSAL WILL INCLUDE HIRING GOAL OF 7 PERCENT

December 8th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that OFCCP’s proposed new rule to strengthen the affirmative action requirements established in Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 will be published in the December 9 edition of the Federal Register.

According to an OFCCP news release, the proposed rule would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities, among other requirements.  OFCCP says establishing a 7 percent hiring goal for the employment of individuals with disabilities would be a tool for contractors to measure the effectiveness of their affirmative action efforts and thereby inform their decision-making.

OFCCP also says the proposed regulatory changes detail specific actions contractors must take in the areas of recruitment, training, record keeping and policy dissemination – similar to those that have long been required to promote workplace quality for women and minorities.

This proposed rule represents one of the most significant advances in protecting the civil rights of workers with disabilities since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “President Obama has demonstrated a commitment to people with disabilities. This proposed rule would help federal contractors better fulfill their legal responsibility to hire qualified workers with disabilities.”

“For nearly 40 years, the rules have said that contractors simply need to make a ‘good faith’ effort to recruit and hire people with disabilities. Clearly, that’s not working,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Our proposal would define specific goals, require real accountability and provide the clearest possible guidance for employers seeking to comply with the law. What gets measured gets done. And we’re in the business of getting things done.”

According to the OFCCP news release, the proposed rule also would enhance data collection and record-keeping requirements — including for documentation and processing of requests for reasonable accommodation — in order to improve accountability. Additionally, it would ensure annual self-reviews of employers’ recruitment and outreach efforts, and add a new requirement for contractors to list job openings to increase their pools of qualified applicants.

For more information:  “US Labor Department Seeks To Improve Job Opportunities For Americans With Disabilities By Setting Historic Hiring Goal For Federal Contractors And Subcontractors,” OFCCP News Release.

OFCCP’s RELEASE OF ITS PROPOSED RULE TO AMEND SECTION 503 IS IMMINENT

December 7th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is expected to release at any time its proposed rule amending Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.  The White House Office of Management & Budget completed its review of the proposed rule on November 30, 2011.  The proposed rule is expected to strengthen the affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations of contractors and subcontractors under Section 503.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WAGE & HOUR DIVISION SIGN MOU WITH COLORADO LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT ON MISCLASSIFICATION

December 6th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, and Ellen Golombek, executive director of Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment, signed a memorandum of understanding  regarding the improper classification of employees as independent contractors.  This partnership, which is designed to reduce the practice conducted by some businesses of misclassifying employees, is the eleventh of its kind for the U.S. Department of Labor.

For more information:  “U.S. Labor Department, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Sign Agreement to Reduce Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors,” DOL News Release, 12/5/11.

OFCCP FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST FEDERAL CONTRACTOR ALLEGING DISCRIMINATORY HIRING

December 5th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The OFCCP filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary.  OFCCP alleges the companies systemically discriminated against more than 200 women who applied for entry-level jobs at Lund’s boat manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minnesota.

For more information:  “U.S. Labor Department Files Complaint Against Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co. for Sex Discrimination At Minnesota Manufacturing Plant,” OFCCP News Release, 12/1/11.

Categories: Affirmative Action

OFCCP FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST FEDERAL CONTRACTOR OVER ALLEGED HIRING BIAS

December 5th, 2011 Patricia Schaeffer Comments off

The OFCCP filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges against Cargill Meat Solutions alleging the company systematically discriminated against 4,069 qualified female, white, black, Hispanic and Native American applicants who sought entry-level production jobs at its Springdale, Arkansas facility.  OFCCP is seeking cancellation of the company’s existing government contracts and debarment from entering into future contracts until the company resolves all violations and corrects its discriminatory employment practices.  The investigation found that allegedly the company’s selection criteria were subjectively and inconsistently applied. As a result, women were allegedly less likely to be employed in entry-level production jobs, and Asian and Pacific Islander job seekers were unfairly favored over other racial groups.

For more information:  “U.S. Labor Department Files Complaint Against Cargill Meat Solutions for Discrimination at Springdale, Ark., Facility,” DOL News Release, 11/29/11.

Categories: Affirmative Action