OFCCP onsite visits had previously been on the decline, and were virtually non-existent as recently as fiscal year end 2013. However, onsite visits appear to be back, and OFCCP is focusing on compensation. This is not surprising given the agency’s compensation enforcement initiative catapulted by Directive 2013-03 (formerly known as Directive 307). The onsite reviews are typically preceded by frequent data requests for compensation variables during the desk audit.
The agency’s purpose as it relates to compensation-focused onsite investigations appears to be two-fold. First, investigators are interested in collecting information for off-site analysis, such that pay analysis groupings (PAGs) can be developed and analyzed using regression analysis. Recall that PAGs are Directive 2013-03 terminology meaning “group[s] of employees (potentially from multiple job titles, units, categories and/or job groups) who are comparable for purposes of the contractor's pay practices.” This type of onsite information collection may also be accompanied by close examination of positions in the workforce, including verifying that employees are doing work consistent with their job titles and descriptions. Second, investigators are interested in gathering evidence of compensation discrimination that is anecdotal in nature. This is apparent in the Federal Contractor Compliance Manual, which is the OFCCP procedural guide to conducting compliance evaluations, and through our awareness of OFCCP’s desire to schedule numerous manager and employee interviews while onsite.
In addition to the typical pay enforcement approaches that OFCCP has historically taken, the agency continues to examine contractors’ steering practices (i.e., whether or not certain groups of employees are disproportionately placed into certain jobs or families of jobs). It is clear that recent onsite visits are no exception to this enforcement strategy. Although the Department of Labor does not track OFCCP onsite visits in its public enforcement database, it is important to note that they are trending upward and are likely to continue to increase in fiscal year 2014.
by David Morgan and Keli Wilson, Senior Consultants, DCI Consulting Group