Affirmative Action: New Audit Scheduling Letter. Do Not Delay. Prepare Now.

October, 2014

Effective October 1, 2014 the OFCCP has a new Scheduling Letter. This is the letter that is sent to a federal contractor’s facility at a specific location to let that location know they’ve been selected for an audit. At that point, the federal contractor has 30 calendar days to pull together everything requested in the Scheduling Letter, which includes an “Itemized Listing” of specific information.

Up until now a federal contractor who had an up-to-date affirmative action plan and good tracking systems in place could submit all required data within the 30 day period without too much stress. (OK, except for the fact that they’ve been selected for an audit.)

But now… Wow. The new Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing change many of the items requested in the previous letter and itemized list, and they include a number of new items that contractors have not been required to submit in the past.

The OFCCP issued a moratorium saying that no new scheduling letters would be sent to contractors between October 1 and October 15, 2014. Now that the moratorium period has ended we expect the OFCCP to start sending the new scheduling letter, and probably a lot of them. Human Resources staff should make sure to keep an eye on their mail and notify each facility’s Top Executive/Manager to open immediately any mail from the Department of Labor. Human Resources staff responsible for the AAP will need every minute of the 30 days if their current AAP and compliance with all of the new 503 and VEVRAA regulations are not currently in place.

Here are some of the most significant changes/additions:

  • Specific information required to prove compliance with 503 and VEVRAA:

    • Results of the evaluation of the effectiveness of outreach and recruitment efforts;

    • Documentation of the audit and reporting system;

    • Documentation of the computations or comparisons required in the new regulations:

      • The number of applicants who self-identified as individuals with disabilities pursuant and/or protected veterans;
      • The total number of job openings and total number of jobs filled;
      • The total number of applicants for all jobs;
      • The number of applicants with disabilities and/or veterans hired; and
      • The total number of applicants hired.
    • Documented disability utilization analysis, and the progress the company has made to meet utilization goals if the company is more than six months into the plan year;

    • Documentation of the veteran hiring benchmark adopted by the company (National Percentage or company developed Individualized Hiring Benchmark) and an analysis of how well the company has met this benchmark.

  • Support data:

    • Contractors with Collective Bargaining Agreements must submit policy statements, employee notices, or handbooks, that implement, explain, or elaborate on the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.

  • Employment activity:

    • Applicants/Hires

      • The Applicant/Hires analysis must now include applicants and hires broken down by gender and specific race category – African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native, White.
      • The Applicant/Hires analysis must include data on all “unknowns” and those who “chose not to disclose”. Previously this data was completely left out of the analysis.
    • Promotions:

      • The company must submit their specific definition of promotion.
  • Compensation:

    • Data must be submitted by individual employee; not summarized by job title, job group, pay group, etc.

    • Data submitted must include each employee’s base pay and any other adjustments to salary such as bonuses, incentives, commissions, merit increases, locality pay and overtime.

    • “Employees” for compensation reporting purposes must include (FT, PT, contract (exact definition unclear), per diem, day labor, temporary).

    • For each employee in the analysis the company must provide the job title, EEO-1 group, Job Group (which may be the same as the EEO-1 group), and date of hire.

    • The company may provide any additional data they use to differentiate pay such as education level, past experience, duty location, performance ratings, department or function, and salary level/band/range/grade.

    • The company must submit documentation and policies related to compensation practices. If the employer says that education, past experience, performance, pay grade, etc. are factors in determining pay, then the documented compensation policy must support this assertion.

  • More new items:

    • Copies of the company’s disability/accommodation policies, documentation of any requests for accommodation, and specific information on the resolution of the request (request implemented, alternate accommodation implemented, request denied, employee terminated, etc.);

    • The company must provide a description of their review of their personnel processes regarding all categories of veterans. The documentation must show the company carefully and thoroughly reviews all qualifications of applicants and employees who are known protected veterans for hire, promotion or training opportunities. The company must also be able to show that only the portion of the individual's military record (including discharge papers) that is relevant to the requirements of the particular opportunity is considered.

    • Documentation of the company’s assessment of physical and mental job requirements to ensure that they are job-related and are consistent with business necessity, especially those that may screen out individuals with disabilities.

This is a lot of information and it is going to take a lot of time to pull together if your company is selected for audit. Much of the information will be included in the contractor’s affirmative action plan documents, but there is a lot of information the contractor is expected to develop and maintain outside of the actual plan documents. Do not delay. Prepare now. Thirty calendar days is not much time.

If you do not have your current affirmative action plan in place or if you need assistance with complying with any of the new (or old) regulations, please contact Cascade.


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