The CO should consider four areas during an evaluation of personnel operations: work environment, validation, effects of personnel practices and nonsegregation of facilities and activities.223 This subsection draws from 41 CFR 60- 4.3(a)7, a, k, m and n and Part III. D of the Construction SCER. Each is discussed in turn in this section.
a. Working Environment. The contractor must ensure and maintain a working environment free of harassment, intimidation and coercion at all sites and in all facilities at which the contractor’s employees are assigned to work.224 Harassment, intimidation and coercion can take many forms on the job site. These actions may be directed toward employees or applicants on any protected bases. They may consist of verbal, visual or written abuse, such as insults, graffiti, posters, suggestive comments and demands, racial slurs, leering or pressure for sexual activity. They may also include physical aggressiveness such as touching, pinching, patting and shoving, or the hiding or sabotaging of tools and equipment. Whatever the action, it can create a stressful working atmosphere which impairs job performance and work relationships and often results in the victim quitting the job. During the physical inspection of the contractor’s worksites, the CO should:
- Look for any physical evidence of intimidation, harassment, or coercion;
- Interview female and minority employees to determine whether there have been any incidents of harassment, intimidation or coercion;
- Determine whether such incidents were reported to the supervisor and if so, what action was taken to resolve the problem;
- Interview supervisory staff to determine whether they are aware of the contractor’s obligation under this specification;
- Review contractor files (minutes of meetings, memoranda, etc.) to determine whether the contractor has discussed this specification with supervisors; and
- Review discharges and terminations and, where possible, interview minorities and women recently terminated, to determine if harassment or intimidation was a factor in their leaving the job.
Where possible, the contractor will assign at least two women to each construction project.225 The contractor shall specifically ensure that all supervisory personnel are aware of, and carry out, its obligation to maintain such a working environment, with specific attention to minorities and women working at such sites or in such facilities.226
b. Validation. The contractor must validate all tests and other selection requirements where there is an obligation to do so under 41 CFR Part 60-3.227 COs should also refer to the discussion in Chapter 2 and to the “Questions and Answers to the Uniform Guidelines on Selection Procedures.”228Procedures for identifying adverse impact resulting from employee selection procedures are in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
c. Effect of Personnel Practices. Contractors must ensure that seniority practices, job classifications, work assignments, opportunities for overtime and other personnel practices do not have a discriminatory effect on minorities and women by monitoring all personnel and employment related activities to ensure that the specifications are being carried out.229 In evaluating the contractor’s compliance with this specification, COs will:
- Determine whether the contractor’s personnel policies and practices have a discriminatory effect; and
- Review personnel policies and practices such as transfers that create employment opportunities, seniority practices, job classifications, work assignments (e.g., minorities and women sent only to federally or state funded projects), layoff procedures, project locations, wage rates,230 overtime hours for discriminatory effects.
d. Nonsegregated Facilities and Activities. The contractor must ensure that all job sites, facilities and company activities are nonsegregated, except for separate or single user toilets and changing facilities where necessary to assure privacy between the sexes.231 In evaluating the contractor’s compliance, during the worksite inspection, the CO should:
- Determine whether the contractor provides and maintains adequate toilet and changing facilities to ensure privacy between the sexes; and
- Interview management and employees to determine whether announcements of company social/recreational activities have been posted and are made available to all employees.
223. Refer to 41 CFR Part 60-20; 41 CFR Part 60-50; 41 CFR 60-4.3(a) paragraph 7, steps a, k, m and n; and Part 1II.D of the Construction SCER for more information.
224. 41 CFR 60-4.3(a) paragraph 7, step a, if unlawful harassment is identified, it is a violation of the equal opportunity clauses found at 41 CFR 60-1.4(a) and 41 CFR 60-1.4(b), 41 CFR 60-300.5(a) and 41 CFR 60-741.5(a).
225. 41 CFR 60-4.3(a) paragraph 7 step a.
226. See Item III.D.l., of the Construction SCER.
227. See Item III.D.2 of the Construction SCER. Under 41 CFR 60-3.15, contractors with 100 or fewer employees are not required to make adverse impact determinations or maintain validity evidence.
228. See 44 FR 11996, 12009 (Mar. 2, 1979) supplemented by 45 FR 29350 (May 2, 1980).
229. 41 CFR 60-4.3(a)7.m. See Item III.D.3. of the Construction SCER.
230. COs are reminded that wage rates may be specified in Collective Bargaining Agreements.
231. 41 CFR 60-4.3(a) paragraph 7, step n. See Item III.D.4. of the Construction SCER.