As contractors prepare for 2016, we want to share some reminders on what to be prepared for in the New Year with the OFCCP and EEO compliance.
1.) First full year of 503/VEVRAA analytics under Subpart C
Contractors were required to come into compliance with Subparts A, B, D, and E on March 24, 2014, and Subpart C prior to the contractor’s next AAP cycle after March 24, 2015. For example, those contractors with January AAP dates will be analyzing the collected disability and veteran self-identification information for the first time with their January 1, 2016 AAP.
2.) Release of the Sex Discrimination Guidelines
The OFCCP released the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on January 28, 2015. DCI has previously made some predictions about the NPRM and final rule, and the impact it will have on contractors. The long-awaited Final Rule of the Sex Discrimination Guidelines was expected to be released by the end of 2015, but DCI now anticipates it to be issued in early 2016. Stay tuned for a DCI blog alert when it is finally released to the public.
3.) Pay Transparency
The Final Rule took effect January 11, 2016, and promotes pay transparency by prohibiting federal contractors and subcontractors from discharging or otherwise discriminating against employee or job applicants for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about compensation. You can view the Final Rule, frequently asked questions, fact sheets, and other helpful resources on the OFCCP’s Pay Transparency Web page at www.dol.gov/ofccp/PayTransparency. DCI clients are provided with a robust checklist, sample policies, and cases as a courtesy.
4.) Compensation – Still a priority
Compensation remains a hot-button issue and key focus area for the OFCCP when conducting compliance evaluations. For this reason, contractors should ensure that they are conducting required analyses of their compensation system on an annual basis to determine whether sex-, race-, or ethnicity-based disparities exist. Keeping in line with trends observed in 2015 under Item 19 of the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, we expect the OFCCP to regularly request multiple forms of compensation during the compliance evaluations, and contractors should be prepared to submit this information.
5.) California and New York employers: Fair pay laws in effect
Amendments to fair pay laws in both California and New York took effect in January 2016. These laws were designed to strengthen protections against sex-based wage discrimination and provide for bona fide factors other than sex to explain wage differentials. With a heightened focus on pay discrimination, it is imperative that California and New York employers continue to place great emphasis on their proactive compensation analyses to ensure that any unexplained differences in pay are uncovered and addressed.
By Joanna Colosimo, Senior Consultant and Brittany Dian, Associate Consultant at DCI Consulting Group