The Proactive Employer Podcast – Affirmative Action Programs

Federal affirmative action regulations require that federal contractors prepare and implement an affirmative action program. In this week’s installment of The Proactive Employer podcast, we’ll be discussing affirmative action strategy, program design, and development. We’ll also be discussing a recent decision in a case entitled OFCCP v. Frito-Lay that centered around desk audits, what employers should do to prepare for a desk audit, and what they can expect during a desk audit.

Our guest for this installment is Carla Irwin.  Ms. Irwin is the president of Carla Irwin & Associates, and is a Partner with the HRLink Group. Prior to her consulting career, Ms. Irwin served as the Affirmative Action Compliance Manager at Zurich North America and as the Director of EEO and Diversity at OfficeMax.  She has extensive experience with EEO and affirmative action, and brings both an HR perspective as well as a legal perspective, in that she holds a Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law.

You can listen to the podcast on BlogTalkRadio at 8:30 AM Eastern on Friday online or via telephone at (347) 945-5651. The podcast installment will also be available on-demand at The Proactive Employer and on iTunes.

The Monday Retweet – Week of September 20th, 2010

All my tweets for the week of September 20th:

  • New AA Insights Blog Post: This Place Changes Everything http://bit.ly/aIlO6t | My comments on the #USBLN conf & the Walgreens video
  • How Employee-Resource Groups Can Impact Your Bottom Line – DiversityInc.com shar.es/0GILy
  • #USBLN – Lowe’s has 11 of the 14 distribution facilities with outreach programs for people with disabilities.
  • #USBLN – Meijer opened 2000 employee facility in February and over 50% of those employed were people with disabilities.
  • #USBLN – ODEP will release the Return To Work Toolkit at the end of this month.
  • #USBLN – Is your company participating in the cell phones for soliders program?
  • #USBLN – Computer Sciences Corporation ranked 30 in the Top 50 employers by Career & the disABLED magazine
  • The Center for Corporate Equality will host a webinar discussion TAC Report on adverse impact analysis http://bit.ly/aNhzDW
  • Insights Newsletter – OFCCP v. Frito-Lay – Ruling Limiting Scope of OFCCP in Desk Audit http://bit.ly/d1lET2

Statement by US Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on the 45th anniversary of the OFCCP

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [09/24/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4659 or x3984
Release Number: 10-1341-NAT

Statement by US Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on the 45th anniversary of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 11246, creating what eventually became the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs:

“Six months after brave men and women crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and just six weeks after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, the march to redeem America’s promise took another important step forward. Asserting that civil rights laws alone were not enough to remedy discrimination, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965.

“This landmark order, which created the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, requires those who do business with the U.S. government — both contractors and subcontractors — to ensure equal opportunity for all job seekers and wage earners.

“OFCCP’s legal authority has since been expanded by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold federal contractors to the very reasonable standard that they must not discriminate in their employment practices on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

“Nearly one in four American workers is employed by a company that receives taxpayer dollars for contracted work. That’s more than 200,000 companies with contracts totaling over $700 billion. And it is the duty of OFCCP to see that those tax dollars are not used to discriminate. That helps ensure a fundamental fairness and levels the playing field for America’s workers.

“So, today, I congratulate the nearly 800 OFCCP staff in offices across the nation as they mark 45 years of protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing the law. Their work ensures good jobs are within the grasp of everyone, and it makes America a more just — and better — place to work and live.”

This Place Changes Everything

I just got back from the USBLN 2010 Conference – Aligning Disability with the Bottom Line: Talent, Market Share and Supplier Diversity.  I have been to many conferences over the years, but this will be remembered as the one that changed everything for me.  I went into this conference with the goal of gaining new insight and knowledge about outreach programs and support for people with disabilities.  I did this with the intent to help my clients meet their current and soon changing needs on their affirmative action efforts for people with disabilities.  I came out of this conference with the same purpose, to assist in outreach for people with disabilities, but for a different reason.  I was looking at it all wrong.  It is not about government requirements, it is not about charity, for me it’s about valuing an undervalued population.  Giving them an opportunity, watching them succeed and letting everyone know it is possible.

For three days I went to session after session immersing myself in a new culture.  At lunch I would sit next to someone who was blind, it seemed to me about a quarter of the attendees were in wheelchairs and there were sign language interpreters everywhere.  It wasn’t until this week that my eyes were opened, that my heart was opened and my mind was able to understand things differently.  I owe this to the attendees of the USBLN conference who were warm and welcoming, the panel of operations guys (Randy Lewis, Senior Vice President – Distribution, Walgreens; James R. Salzano, Executive Vice President, Clarks Companies, N.A.; Stephen J. Szilagyi, Senior Vice President, Distribution) who took a risk, followed their heart and knew the workplace could be a better place by reaching out to people with disabilities and to my sister a high school counselor for a deaf and hard of hearing program who I have a new found respect for.

Like I said, my goal is no longer merely to help federal contractors meet their requirements, it is to inspire every company and help them understand the possibilities.  The title of the blog is This Place Changes Everything, this has two meanings, first the place that changed everything for me was the USBLN Conference and the second meaning is that I hope that the Walgreens distribution center in Anderson, SC will be the place, the example that changes the minds of everyone on the abilities of people with disabilities.   Please click here to view the Walgreens video, This Place Changes Everything to see and listen for yourself what a difference this company is making, not only in the lives of those with disabilities, but their families, co-workers and managers.  Also please visit their Disability Inclusion website for further information, videos and awards on their program.

The Monday Retweet – Week of September 13th, 2010

All my tweets the week of September 13th:

  • ODEP announces continued funding for the Adult National Technical Assistance and Research Center http://bit.ly/bGfdui
  • RT @USDOL Statement of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week http://bit.ly/aJnDEm
  • AA Insights new blog post – Technical Advisory Report on Adverse Impact Analysis from Center for Corporate Equality shar.es/07glp
  • OFCCP new FAQs on EO 13496 – posting and contract inclusion requirements for federal contractors under NLRA http://bit.ly/9hvdQv
  • RT @USDOL – DOL sues Tyson Fresh Meats for systemic discrimination against women http://bit.ly/aofQNa
  • Reminder: EEO-1 & Vets-100/100A reports are due Sept. 30th.
  • Does Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Create a New OFCCP For Financial Institutions? http://bit.ly/djfZQQ
  • OFCCP Breaking Out of “Establishment” Audit Mode In Favor Of Companywide Conciliation Agreements & Region-wide audits http://bit.ly/cUJV4X
  • OFCCP: Nationwide Remedies & Conciliation-Driven “Injunctions” Arresting & Changing Contractor HR Policies & Practices http://bit.ly/a1jrVT
  • OFCCP Poised to Publish New Veterans Regulations: Goals for Protected Veterans Are Coming! bit.ly/afmZIa
  • RT @ DBPMember A study of 2009 earnings shows the gender wage gap is not closing. http://bit.ly/9DwOOp
  • Next week I’m at #USBLN tweeting live on “Aligning Disability with the Bottom Line: Talent, Market Share, and Supplier Diversity”

OFCCP sues Tyson Fresh Meats for systemic discrimination against women

News Release

OFCCP News Release: [09/15/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4659 or x3984
Release Number: 10-1232-NAT

US Labor Department sues Tyson Fresh Meats for systemic discrimination against women

Complaint seeks to recover back wages owed to more than 750 rejected applicants,
offer employment to more than 100 affected women

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed an administrative complaint against Tyson Fresh Meats, the world’s largest supplier of premium beef and pork and a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc. The complaint alleges that Tyson systematically rejected female job applicants at its plant in Joslin, Ill.

“The Labor Department is firmly committed to ensuring that federal contractors give all individuals a fair and equal chance at employment,” said Patricia A. Shiu, director of the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. “Taxpayer dollars must never be used to discriminate. In our efforts to uncover workplace discrimination, OFCCP will utilize a host of remedies, including debarment, to protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law.”

OFCCP’s investigation revealed that Tyson utilized a hiring process and selection procedures that discriminated against women seeking entry-level positions. Executive Order 11246, under which this lawsuit was brought, prohibits federal contractors such as Tyson from discriminating on the basis of gender when making their hiring decisions and empowers OFCCP to monitor their compliance with the law.

The complaint requests that all of Tyson’s federal contracts be canceled; it be debarred from future government contracts until it has remedied the violations; and it provide complete relief, including lost wages, interest and other benefits of employment, to affected individuals. OFCCP believes that more than 750 women are owed back wages and more than 100 women should be given the option of working for the company.

This filing follows recent litigation by OFCCP involving another Tyson Foods Inc. subsidiary, TNT Crust, located in Green Bay, Wis. A Department of Labor administrative law judge found that TNT Crust systematically discriminated against Latino applicants in its entry-level position hiring.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP’s legal authority exists under 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 very reasonable standard that they not discriminate in their employment practices on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For more information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

Technical Advisory Report on Adverse Impact Analysis

THE CENTER FOR CORPORATE EQUALITY RELEASES TAC REPORT ON ADVERSE IMPACT ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Center for Corporate Equality (CCE) has released its expert Technical Advisory Report on Adverse Impact Analysis.

Overview

Although determining whether selection, promotion, and termination decisions result in adverse impact is an important topic for organizations, there is little guidance about the proper way in which these analyses should be conducted. This lack of guidance is problematic in that it is not unusual for professionals in the same organization to disagree about how these analyses should be conducted, and it is certainly not unusual for plaintiffs and defendants to disagree. To help determine if there are “best practices” in conducting adverse impact analyses, the Center for Corporate Equality (CCE) created a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of 70 of the nation’s top experts in adverse impact analyses.

TAC members consisted of a wide variety of EEO experts including industrial-organizational psychologists, labor economists, plaintiff and defense attorneys, HR practitioners, and former OFCCP and EEOC officials. The first step in the process was to administer a detailed questionnaire that asked TAC members to indicate how they would handle a variety of data, statistical, and legal interpretation issues commonly encountered in conducting adverse impact analyses. The survey results were used to identify topics where there was strong agreement as well as topics where there was strong disagreement. Results of this survey were used to structure the agenda for an in-person onsite meeting.

Forty-five of the TAC members then gathered at Georgetown University for a two-day face-to-face meeting to discuss responses to the survey and make general recommendations. These recommendations were combined with the survey results to create a best practice document that will be distributed without cost to members of the EEO community on September 15, 2010. As a courtesy to federal enforcement agencies, one week prior to the public release of the best practices document, members of CCE briefed representatives from the OFCCP, EEOC, and Department of Justice on the TAC findings.

The report is featured in today’s BNA Daily Labor Report®.

To view the full report click on the following links:

TAC Adverse Impact Report

TAC Report Appendix A: Survey Questions and Responses

TAC Report Appendix B: Committee Member Biographies

Contact:

Harold Busch
Executive Director
phone: 202-293-2220

The Monday Retweet – Week of September 6th, 2010

All my tweets the week of September 6th:

US Department of Labor launches Web portal to help job seekers

News Release

ETA News Release: [09/07/2010]
Contact Name: Mike Trupo or Lina Garcia
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414 or x4661
Release Number: 10-1216-NAT

US Department of Labor launches Web portal to help job seekers

‘mySkills myFuture’ matches skills, prior work experience with new occupations

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has launched a Web portal to help job seekers match their current skills to new careers and find out what training is needed to transition from one job to another. This new online tool is called “mySkillsmyFuture” and can be accessed at http://www.myskillsmyfuture.org. Users will be able to view local job postings and locate training and education providers. They also will be able to find descriptions, salary information and common job tasks associated with a new occupation.

“Americans deserve good jobs, and MySkillsmyFuture is one of the ways we’re ensuring they can find and access them,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The MySkillsmyFuture portal personalizes job searches. It allows people to explore work possibilities based on their experience, strengths and interests. It also connects them with high quality training programs and provides localized job postings.”

The new site’s features include:

  • Detailed information about occupational skills that can be transferred from one job to another.
  • A side-by-side comparison chart of likely skill gaps from one occupation to another.
  • Links to local training programs that are available to help fill skill and knowledge gaps.

Additionally, users will be able to find opportunities for short-term training programs provided by local community colleges and other postsecondary schools. They can find career-specific details about obtaining credentials such as certifications, licenses and apprenticeships. Users also will be able to view and apply for open job postings available by ZIP code or state. Job listings are from a national database and will be updated daily.

mySkills myFuture includes an integrated help system with page-by-page instructions and videos to enhance the user experience. The online program is based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network, known as O*NET, and the National Labor Exchange. Data from O*NET includes the required knowledge, skills and abilities for more than 900 occupations, which helps identify transferable skills and skill gaps among different occupations. The National Labor Exchange is a service of DirectEmployers Association, a nonprofit consortium of more than 550 leading U.S. corporations.

The Monday Retweet – Week of August 30th, 2010

All my tweets for the week of August 30th:

  • Disability Employment Portal & Service Offerings RT@hirepotential-HirePotential and GettingHired Partner http://lnkd.in/RE2qsT
  • Retailers’ duties to accommodate disabled customers’ communication via website and other remote methods http://t.co/zSibwCN via @AddThis