Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
November 2010 Events and News
OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu Remembers Paul S. Miller
OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu issued the following memorial statement in honor of former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioner and disability rights advocate Paul S. Miller, who died Oct. 19, 2010, at the age of 49.
“Paul Miller was often described as a leader of the disability rights movement. Indeed his leadership qualities were revealed by the examples he set as well as by the force of his keen mind and legal expertise. Having learned valuable lessons from his own experiences as a person with a disability he devoted his professional career as a lawyer, an academic, EEOC Commissioner and Presidential advisor to bringing the promise of such laws as the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act into reality.”
“Paul was an advocate for achieving a fundamental appreciation for diversity in the workplace. He is quoted as having said, ‘Ultimately, you can’t change the world through litigation. You have to change hearts and minds and the culture of employment.’”
“One of the longest–serving members of the EEOC, Paul instituted approaches to alternate dispute resolution to avoid costly and contentious litigation. At the University of Washington, he directed a program that drew upon a multi–disciplined faculty to examine issues related to disability in our society. Among his greatest achievements was his success in lobbying for passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which protects every American’s genetic information from being abused by employers or insurers.”
“All who cherish the spirit of equality of opportunity embodied in our nation’s commitment to civil rights through law will miss the wisdom and guidance that Paul Miller gave us so willingly and freely throughout his amazingly productive yet too brief life.”
OFCCP News Release: [11/23/2010]
Contact Name: Rhonda Burke or Scott Allen
Phone Number: (312) 353–6976
Release Number: 10–1605–CHI
US Department of Labor sues Meyer Tool Inc. for systemic discrimination against African–Americans
Complaint seeks remedies for affected machinist applicants
CINCINNATI – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has filed an administrative complaint against Meyer Tool Inc., a federal contractor that manufactures engine parts for the aerospace industry. The suit alleges that Meyer Tool systematically rejected African–American job applicants who sought entry–level machinist positions at its plant in Cincinnati.
The complaint was filed today with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges in Washington, D.C., after OFCCP was unable to secure a fair resolution from Meyer Tool during conciliation efforts with the company.
“This defendant has a contractual obligation to provide equal employment opportunity,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “The company failed to meet that obligation. So we will enforce the law and hold Meyer Tool accountable to the fair and reasonable standard that it not discriminate against any group of workers.”
The company’s discriminatory practices and recordkeeping violations were discovered by OFCCP during a scheduled review to determine the company’s compliance with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race when making hiring decisions. OFCCP’s investigation revealed that Meyer Tool failed to implement an internal audit and reporting system to ensure nondiscriminatory policies were carried out as required by law; retain employment applications for the required two–year period; implement an applicant tracking system to determine selection disparities; and develop action–oriented programs to address the adverse impact against African–Americans in the machinist job group.
The complaint seeks a court order requiring Meyer Tool Inc. to hire at least 14 African–American applicants from the affected class list and to provide them with lost wages and retroactive seniority. Should the company fail to provide such relief and remedy its violations, OFCCP believes Meyer Tool should face cancellation of its existing government contracts and debarment from entering into future ones.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP’s legal authority exists under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment 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 https://www.dol.gov/ofccp.
Solis v. Meyer Tool Inc.
Case Number: 2011–OFC-3
DOL “Toolkit” Guides Employers in Recruitment and Hiring of Veterans
Federal contractors can now take advantage of a “Veterans Hiring Toolkit” available online from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS). It is designed to help employers include veterans in their recruitment and hiring initiatives. Federal contractors may find it useful in meeting their equal employment obligations to recruit, hire and promote veterans protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).
“It’s important to remind federal contractors that VEVRAA’s protections extend to disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans, and Armed Forces service medal veterans” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu.
The Veterans Hiring Toolkit was developed as part of DOL’s “America’s Heroes at Work”. It takes employers through a step–by–step process that helps them understand both opportunities available to them by hiring qualified veterans and challenges that may arise in dealing with veterans who are transitioning from military life.
For more information about federal contractor’s equal opportunity obligations under VEVRAA, see Compliance Assistance – Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.
OFCCP Director Shiu and VETS Assistant Secretary Jefferson Confer with VSOs
More than a dozen representatives of Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) recently gathered in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. to exchange views and learn more about efforts to advance the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of veterans by federal contractors.
The VSO representatives discussed their concerns and ideas with OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, OFCCP National Office staff and Regional Directors during the meeting, which was hosted by Raymond M. Jefferson, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment and Training (VETS).
Among the chief concerns voiced by the service organizations’ representatives was the need for closer oversight of contractors’ and subcontractors’ recruitment, hiring, and employment practices. They called for better coordination among their organizations, OFCCP, VETS, and state workforce development agencies in identifying job opportunities for veterans in federal contracting workplaces, including listings of active federal contractors.
OFCCP Director Shiu briefed the VSO representatives about the agency’s increased emphasis on enforcement, investigating complaints received from individual workers, and forging linkages with community–based organizations. She pointed out renewed efforts on behalf of veterans and workers with disabilities.
“Linkages work and they are very important. Voluntary compliance is good, and we encourage it. But OFCCP is here to enforce the law, and we will do so!” Shiu said.
She also encouraged the VSOs to take an active role in commenting on OFCCP’s forthcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which will propose more effective means to evaluate federal contractors’ efforts to implement the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.
“Please go to your veteran community and let them know that OFCCP is here and exists to help veterans,” Director Shiu said. “When our NPRM comes out, it is important that you weigh in, because we are here to represent vets and to help veterans and their families.”
OFCCP Settles Discrimination Case with Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats, Inc.
More than 530 African–American and Caucasian workers who were turned down for jobs with Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats, Inc. in Vernon, Texas, will recover $560,000 in back pay and interest under a conciliation agreement the company has signed with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Fifty–nine of the workers will receive job offers as laborer positions become available at the bacon–processing plant.
“The Labor Department is committed to leveling the playing field for all workers,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “A company that profits from taxpayer dollars must not discriminate, period!”
The settlement, known as a conciliation agreement, resolves an investigation by OFCCP into the facility’s hiring practices, which showed that African–American and Caucasian job applicants were much less likely to be hired than similarly–situated Hispanic applicants. As a federal contractor, Tyson is prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of gender, race, sex, religion, nationality, disability or status as a protected veteran.
Read the Labor Department’s Tyson Refrigerated Processed Meats news release about this case.
Nine States Receive DOL Funding for Programs to Assist People with Disabilities
Federal contractors and subcontractors in the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia may find new sources of qualified workers with disabilities.
That’s because the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $21,276,575 to agencies in these nine states under its Disability Employment Initiative. The funds will be used to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes of youth and adults who are unemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. The initiative is jointly funded and administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration and its Office of Disability Employment Policy.
“During these difficult economic times, we want to make it possible for all workers, especially those with disabilities, to benefit from the Labor Department’s employment and retraining services that have a proven success rate,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Through this new grant, individuals with disabilities will be able to utilize the necessary tools to obtain permanent and secure jobs.”
The department has entered into cooperative agreements with the states to support exemplary employment services for individuals with disabilities. The grants also will support partnerships, collaboration and services across multiple workforce and disability systems in each state, including vocational rehabilitation services, mental health and developmental disability agencies, Medicaid Infrastructure Grant–supported activities, independent living centers, business leadership networks, and other community and nonprofit provider organizations.
For more information, see the Department of Labor’s States Receive DOL Funding news release.
Industry Representatives and Outreach/Advocacy Organizations Are Named to Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship
Representatives of industry organizations, some of whom are federal contractors, and outreach and advocacy organizations have been appointed to the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. The committee is comprised of approximately 30 individuals representing employers, labor unions, and the public.
New employer representatives are Gregory A. Chambers, director of corporate compliance with Oberg Industries Inc., of Freeport, Pa., Liz Elvin, senior director, Workforce Development, Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., Todd Staub, director of workforce development, Chapter Services Group, Associated Builders and Contractors, of Arlington, Va., and Robyn Stone, executive director, Institute for the Future of Aging Services, American Association for Homes and Services for the Aging.
Serving as public representatives are Connie Ashbrook, director, Oregon Tradeswomen Inc., Portland, Ore.; Andrew Cortes, director of YouthBuild and Building Futures, The Providence Plan, Providence, R.I.; Phaedra Ellis–Lamkins, chief executive officer, Green for All, Oakland, Calif.; Emma Oppenheim, manager, Workforce Development Policy Initiatives, National Council of La Raza, Washington, D.C.; and James A. Reed, vice president, Workforce Development Division, National Urban League, New York, N.Y.
Other public representatives include Janet B. Bray, executive director, Association for Career and Technical Education, Alexandria, Va.; Monte Perez, president, Riverside Community College, Moreno Valley, Calif.; and Abel Valenzuela Jr., professor, UCLA’s Cesar Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Los Angeles, Calif.
Phaedra Ellis–Lamkins will serve as the ACA’s chairperson.
ACA members provide advice and recommendations on the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and regulations affecting apprenticeship; on preparing the U.S. workforce for sustained employment through employment and training programs; on development of measures that foster quality workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair; and strategies that meet the competitive labor demands of a global economy.
An open meeting of the ACA was held in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27 and 28, 2010.
For more information and full listing of all ACA members, see the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship Department of Labor news release.
OFCCP’s Focus on Veterans Is Subject of House Subcommittee Hearing
Some 30 percent of OFCCP’s on–site reviews of federal contractors in FY 2010 turned up problems with the recruitment of veterans, Les Jin, OFCCP’s deputy director, recently told members of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Jin testified about the work OFCCP does to enforce the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistant Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act as it pertains to disabled veterans.
Especially disturbing was the agency’s finding that some veterans for whom VEVRAA and Section 503 provide important civil rights protections are reluctant to disclose their veteran status when they work for or seek employment with federal contractors or subcontractors.
“Many of these young men and women are returning from battle with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and a host of other challenges,” Jin said. “They need re–entry services and some have told us they are afraid to disclose their status as a disabled veteran — and sometimes even their service — to their employers for fear of being discriminated against when hiring, compensation and promotion decisions are made.”
OFCCP, in response to such concerns, is seeking to revise VEVRAA regulations to strengthen affirmative action programs and measure the effectiveness of federal contractors’ equal employment opportunity efforts. Similar regulatory action is underway with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Jin also described OFCCP’s new outreach efforts to individual veterans and to community and advocacy groups who represent veterans’ interests. “We are educating veterans about their rights in the job market. We are showing them how to identify discriminatory practices, and we are creating avenues for two–way communication between communities of veterans and OFCCP,” he said.
Read the complete text of Deputy Director Jin’s testimony at https://www.dol.gov/_sec/media/congress/20100929_Jin.htm