OFCCP Posts Two New FAQs Regarding Hiring Veterans and Persons with Disabilities

Posted by Berkshire Associates

As part of its on-going effort to provide guidance to the contractor community, OFCCP has posted two new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503)  and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). These laws prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against individuals with disabilities (IWDs) and protected Veterans, and requires these employers to take affirmative action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these individuals.

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Tags: Recruitment Process, Affirmative Action, Disability (IWD), Workforce Balance, Veterans

Federal Contractors Begin to Prepare for $10.10 Minimum Wage

Posted by Lynn A. Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released final regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, which sets a minimum wage for workers supporting certain federal contracts and subcontracts as of January 1, 2015.

What is the New Minimum Wage For Covered Contracts?

When the rule takes effect on January 1, 2015, the new minimum wage for covered contracts will be $10.10 per hour. However, the Secretary of Labor may adjust the minimum wage each year based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. In addition, contractors should note there are special rules for tipped employees.

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Tags: Compensation Compliance

Five Ways to Keep Your Applicant Tracking Process Compliant...

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, CCP

Most federal contractors know by now that tracking race, gender, Veteran status, and disability status are part of the pre-hire requirements for applicants. As part of implementing Berkshire’s new good faith efforts tracker, BALANCEreach, Berkshire’s consultants have a chance to review applicant tracking processes of clients across all industries and sizes. Based on this experience, our consultants offer the following five suggestions for a fully Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) compliant applicant tracking process:

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Tags: Applicant Tracking, Recruitment Process, Affirmative Action, Disability (IWD), Veterans, OFCCP Audit, HR solutions

How Effective Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Practices Impact Your Organization

Posted by Jessica Love, HR Consultant

Throughout corporate history diversity and inclusion have been two sensitive and highly controversial topics, which have shaped and molded organizational cultures. After a generation of diversity work, organizations increasingly worry that despite their success in bringing workplace diversity in the door, even the most diligently executed initiatives will not be enough to shatter the glass, concrete, bamboo, tortilla, and rainbow ceilings. Despite years of incremental progress, truly meaningful breakthroughs remain elusive—with managerial and leadership ranks falling far short of reflecting what should be the most diverse workforce in the history of civilization. Increasingly, executives realize if they don’t get this right, and fail to utilize the diverse talent around them, organizations face weakened financials at best, and extinction at worst.

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Tags: Affirmative Action, Diversity, HR Training, Workforce Balance, Employer Branding

Veterans and Section 503 Updates: One Year Later

Posted by Cindy Karrow, SPHR, Senior HR Consultant

One year ago Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced changes to the regulations implementing VEVRAA and Section 503—these changes rocked the world for many contractors. Visions of system changes and challenges swirled around in our heads. Thoughts about recruitment process and procedures and about how to count open jobs and filled jobs consumed us. Those regulations took effect March 24, 2014, and contractors are putting the finishing touches on compliance with them. Let’s take a look back at the past year and see where we came from and where we are now.

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Tags: Recruitment Process, HR Training, Disability (IWD), Veterans

The OFCCP Horizon—What’s In Store for 2015

Posted by Lynn A. Clements, Director, Regulatory Affairs

With Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) latest fiscal year closing September 30, the agency and federal contractors are looking forward to 2015. This article summarizes some of the most important enforcement trends and policy developments federal contractors can expect to see from OFCCP in 2015. Buckle your seat belts—it’s going to be a busy year!

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Tags: Compensation Compliance, Affirmative Action, OFCCP Audit, Workplace Discrimination

Performance Reviews: How to Make the Process Smoother

Posted by Coriana Spencer

Performance Review Process

Most employees, including managers, dread performance reviews. Although organizations vary in procedures, there are some fundamental best practices that will ensure a smooth process for everyone.

Prepare—Employees should be aware of the way in which they will be evaluated. Managers should specifically describe what they expect of employees and how performance will be evaluated. This will limit confusion during the evaluation. Also, to avoid last minute misunderstandings and chaos, when performance review time is approaching, everyone should be given notice.

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Tags: HR Training, Workforce Balance

OFCCP Announces Approval of its new Scheduling Letter

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, CCP

This year has been an incredible time of change for Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the agency capped off its fiscal year by announcing the approval of a new letter for scheduling contractors for compliance checks and reviews. Three years after proposing changes to the letter, the agency has received Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval on a revised letter. OMB approval on the new letter is for a period of three years, and includes a major change to how compensation data is collected, while taking into account revisions to the Individuals with Disabilities and Veterans affirmative action plans (AAPs) effective earlier this year.

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Tags: Compensation Compliance, Affirmative Action, OFCCP Audit

VETS Issues Final Rule Changing Requirements for VETS-100A in 2015

Posted by Lauren Collinson

For federal contractors, VETS-100A Reports are an annual staple to affirmative action compliance, but with the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) finalizing the form and filing requirements for 2015, things are about to change.

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Tags: Affirmative Action, HR Training, Veterans

Berkshire Director Testifies on EEOC Accountability

Posted by Coriana Spencer

On September 17, Berkshire’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Lynn Clements, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on the issues of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) transparency and accountability. Lynn has close to 20 years of experience as an HR consultant, worked as a lawyer at several management-side law firms, and formerly served as a staff member at EEOC and the Department of Labor (DOL). Lynn used her expertise to testify before the Congressional subcommittee regarding the following EEOC legislative proposals:

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Tags: Recruitment Process, Background Checks, Workforce Balance