Just How Up to Date is Your Affirmative Action Plan? And Why Does that Matter?  Five Key Takeaways From The 2023 OFCCP Scheduling Letter

Just How Up to Date is Your Affirmative Action Plan? And Why Does that Matter? Five Key Takeaways From The 2023 OFCCP Scheduling Letter

Posted by fpSOLUTIONS on Dec 14th 2023

Suz Oliva / Senior Compliance Manager  

The 2023 OFCCP Scheduling Letter is loaded with expansions and new items of requested data.In prioritizing your affirmative action program and data collection first ask: What is the OFCCP looking for in an audit? Their system is designed to uncover systemic discrimination.  It is important that contractor policies and processes prove, to your employees as well as to OFCCP, that you are truly an equal opportunity employer.  Systemic discrimination is an ongoing process that happens when an organization or the organization’s systems favor one group of people over another. In some instances, an organization unintentionally discriminates.  While the discrimination can be intentional or unintentional, when the outcome points to people who are not part of the favored group, they are disadvantaged. 

Here are our five key takeaways from the 2023 OFCCP Scheduling Letter.

  1. The true intent of affirmative action is to take action.  When you find a red flag area, do something about it.  Don’t just sit back and say “well next year we hope our statistical numbers are better.”  Dissect your policies and practices. Update your policies, practices and tracking. Run your numbers from different angles. Should you expand your policies?  Are your processes addressing your shortfall? Get your management involved.  Are your policies just “words” or do your managers understand and implement them?
  2. OFCCP focuses heavily on compensation Pay Equity analysis. You must do the same. Find your shortfalls.  Don’t make excuses. Train your management team on Pay Equity.  OFCCP is requesting compensation data for two years. The contractor must prove to OFCCP that a thorough Pay Equity review has been done.  Some important reminders.
    1. Be prepared to provide documentation and policies related to compensation practices.
    2. OFCCP will request your written compensation policy.  This is not an option.
    3. Compensation policies are very specific and individualized to the company. 
      1. Some have Job Tables and a job structure using geographical codes, pay grades and ranges.
      2. This type of structured compensation study will assist in defending your compensation rates.
  3. OFCCP is looking for your documentation of appropriate outreach and positive recruitment activities reasonably designed to effectively recruit qualified individuals with disabilities, and an assessment of the effectiveness of these efforts.
    1. Outreach is a process of creating and tracking your outreach partners. You must be able to prove to OFCCP which partners you used to post your jobs, and that the outreach partner is able to send you qualified applicants who are individuals with a disability.
    2. Recruitment is the process of finding, screening, hiring and eventually onboarding qualified job applicants. Define your steps in your hiring process. 
  4. OFCCP wants documentation of your most recent assessment of personnel processes for individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.  OFCCP is looking for systemic discrimination so you must be doing the same. The following are some examples of measures you can take:
    1. Ensure careful, thorough, and systematic consideration of the job qualifications of applicants and employees
    2. Ensure that when a disabled veteran, and all other qualified veterans are considered for employment opportunities, the Company relies only on that portion of the individual's military record, including his or her discharge papers, that is relevant to the requirements of the job opportunity
    3. Ensure that the organization’s personnel processes do not stereotype individuals with disabilities or disabled veterans in a manner which limits their access to all jobs for which they are qualified.
    4. Ensure that applicants and employees with disabilities have equal access to your personnel processes, including those implemented through information and communication technologies.
    5. Provide reasonable accommodation to ensure applicants and employees with disabilities and disabled veterans receive equal opportunity in the operation of personnel processes. 
  5. Train, Train, Train.
    1. Train your management team.
    2. Train your human R]resources team. 
    3. Train your talent acquisition team. 
    4. Train your payroll team. 
    5. Train any employee in a position that makes decisions that directly or indirectly impact the engagement of your employees.
    6. Train on your policies, process and implementation of your systems.

Be prepared!

FpSOLUTIONS frequently trains managers, recruiters, and employees involved in the AAP program. Our training programs include online or in person platforms as well as customized content. Select from essential topics including Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity laws, diversity recruiting, hiring and selection, compensation management, reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities as well as managing unconscious bias, and more. For more information, click here.