DOL Regulations - Live Q&A Session with OFCCP - Static Version
Tuesday, April 27, 9 p.m. EDT
Please note that input received during the course of this web chat is not part of the formal rulemaking process. You can find DOLís proposed regulations, and submit comments, by visiting www.regulations.gov.
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8:49 Moderator: Good morning! Our chat will begin at 9 a.m. EDT, but you can submit your questions at any time and they will go into a queue. This is a text-only Q & A, so there will be no audio or video.
9:00 Director Patricia Shiu: Good morning. My name is Patricia Shiu and I am the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, otherwise known as the OFCCP. It is a pleasure for me to be with you today to highlight one of OFCCPís regulatory priorities, that of strengthening our construction regulations.
The OFCCP enforces the civil rights of both federal contractor employees as well as applicants for federal contractor jobs, and ensures that workers and applicants are not subject to discrimination, harassment, retaliation or termination because of their sex, race, national origin, religion, disability or because they are a protected veteran. Getting a contract from the federal government is a privilege, not a right. And with that privilege come serious responsibilities for the contractor to comply with anti-discrimination laws.
I hope that all of you are thinking about how we can do our part to ensure discrimination-free workplaces, particularly in the construction industry. I look forward to your thoughts. Letís get started!
9:03 Comment From Guest: If contractors find a mistake in OFCCP's new enforcement database involving their company, how can they get this corrected?
9:03 Patricia: If you find a mistake in OFCCP's new enforcement data involving your company, you may call OFCCP at 1 (800) 397-6251 or you can email OFCCP-Public@dol.gov. Be sure to mark your email Attention: Policy Division.
9:03 Comment From Pat Schaeffer EEOIMPACT: Can you identify what new methods, if any, are under consideration to analyze compensation and approximately when OFCCP may begin using them? Will OFCCP announce the changes in advance?
9:03 Patricia: Pat, thank you for your question. We are looking at the OFCCP compensation standards and interpretive guidance and compensation discrimination issues in general and we will be seeking stakeholder input when we delve into the issues more deeply.
9:04 OFCCP Tips and Resources: OFCCP featured Regulatory Agenda item: Construction Contractor Affirmative Action Requirements; fact sheet at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/factsheets/ofccp-fs-construction-contractor.htm
9:07 OFCCP Tips and Resources: View a video about equal opportunity in construction: http://www.dol.gov/regulations/videos.htm#ofccp
9:09 Comment From Kevin McGowan: Ms. Shiu, what role is OFCCP playing with respect to construction contractors receiving federal stimulus funds. And how does OFCCP plan to develop information re goals and timetables for employing women, minorities & other protected groups?
9:09 Patricia: Kevin, thanks for your question. Regarding ARRA, please visit DOL's ARRA website at www.dol.gov/recovery.
Regarding your second question, OFCCP is currently reviewing its regulations including goals for women and minorities. At this point OFCCP is seeking stakeholder input on how we can strengthen the regulations. Do you have any specific suggestions?
9:11 Comment From Guest: What companies are required to create annaul AAP's?
9:14 OFCCP Tips and Resources: Other items from the Regulatory Agenda:
Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors: Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results Under Section 503: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201004&RIN=1250-AA02
Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors; Evaluation of Recruitment and Placement Results Under the VEVRAA of 1974, As Amended: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201004&RIN=1250-AA00
9:18 Moderator: Thank you for the questions. Keep them coming!
9:19 Patricia: Thanks Guest, under the regulations implementing Executive Order 11246, supply and service contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a Federal contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more are required to develop, implement and update annually a written affirmative action program (AAP). The AAP is designed to ensure equal employment opportunity, and sets forth specific and action-oriented programs to which a contractor commits itself to apply every good faith effort.
9:26 Comment From PC: What are the obligations for credit unions under the Executive Order?
9:26 Patricia: PC, Thank you for your question. Credit unions are covered under the Executive Order if they are federal contractors or federal subcontractors. For example, a credit union with FDIC Insurance or that is an isssuing and pay agent for U.S. savings bond and savings notes is covered. Like other covered contractors, a covered credit union must provide equal opportunity for applicants and employees based on race, gender, national origin, color and religion. They must develop an affirmative action program if they have at least 50 employees and a contract or subcontract of at least $50,000 or if they are a depository and paying agent for savings bonds and notes.
9:30 OFCCP Tips and Resources: Have you been to our compliance page for Federal Contractors? Go to http://www.dol.gov/compliance/audience/fedcontractor.htm
9:34 Comment From Jay-Anne Casuga: Good morning, Director Shiu! Thank you for taking our questions: 1) Will OFCCP in the future publicly announce the number of supply and service contractors scheduled for possible compliance reviews like it used to in the past? 2) Are you able to comment on the status of OFCCP's industry-based establishment compliance evaluation study; plans for a "corporate, multi-establishment compliance evaluation approach;" and plans for a new selection model targeting contractors with past compliance violations (as outlined in OFCCP's FY 2011 Budget Justification documents)? Thanks!
9:34 Patricia: Jay-Anne, thanks for sending these questions. At this point in time, OFCCP is evaluating its Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) program. With regard to your second question on industry-based establishment compliance evaluation study, this is a double-blind study that is designed to evaluate OFCCP's effectiveness in eradicating discrimination by federal contractors.
9:35 Comment From Tara: What would you like to see from large govt contractors with respect to proactively partnering with the OFCCP
9:35 Patricia: Tara, great question! As part of the department's new Plan, Prevent, Protect strategy designed to encourage employers to take proactive steps, OFCCP's goal is to ensure equal employment opportunity in the workplace before an OFCCP compliance officer shows up at a contractor's doorstep. The department's new strategy is discussed in detail in the Spring Regulatory Agenda narrative which can be read at http://www.dol.gov/regulations/2010RegNarrative.htm.
With respect to the National Office, we recommend contractors communicate with the Directors of Operations and Policy about any ideas for partnering with our Regional Offices. For more information on how you can be more proactive, please email or call us. Our contact list may be found at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/askofccp.htm
9:37 Comment From Kevin McGowan: OFCCP announced plans to hire about 200 new compliance employees this year. Can you tell us how many of them are now in place & what effect they are having or you expect them to have?
9:37 Patricia: Kevin, thank you for your question. Our goal is to hire 213 new compliance officers. To date, we have hired 113 compliance officers. They are assisting in our compliance evaluations of federal contractors and subcontractors. We anticipate that these compliance officers along with other compliance officers will conduct in depth, efficient and thorough investigations.
9:50 OFCCP Tips and Resources: Our National Contact Center provides referral services for all DOL agencies. For assistance, please call 1-866-487-2365.
9:51 Comment From Guest: What is OFCCP's current primary area(s) of focus to ensure compliance
9:51 Patricia: Thanks Guest, to ensure compliance OFCCP conducts compliance evaluations, reviewing a contractorís compliance under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veteransí Readjustment Assistance Act. OFCCP also investigates complaints filed by applicants or employees under all three laws. OFCCP is available to provide technical assistance to contractors on how to comply with the laws.
We have been conducting stakeholder meetings throughout the country to ascertain the barriers to compliance experienced by Federal contractors. OFCCP is in the process of developing proposed regulations designed to strengthen affirmative action.
For more information you can go to http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/askofccp.htm and contact OFCCP about your specific compliance question.
9:54 Patricia: Thank you, if there are no further questions we will close this web chat. I want to thank everyone for participating. I am very excited to be a part of this initiative, and in pursuing Secretary Hilda Solisís vision of providing good jobs for everyone.
Before I end, I want to let you know that if you work for a federal or federally assisted construction contractor and believe that you have been subject to discrimination, you may obtain more information on filing a complaint at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/pdf/pdfstart.htm
Or, if you are a federal construction contractor and would like more information on your responsibilities as a federal contractor, you may contact us at: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/askofccp.htm.
Finally, if you want to know about future webchats, contact OFCCP at 1 (800) 397-6251 or e-mail us at OFCCP-Public@dol.gov and we will add you to our mailing list.
Once again, I appreciate your interest in equal employment and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!
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