BK-3: Ethical Considerations in OFCCP Audits (AAP)
Lauren Hicks, Of Counsel, Ogletree Deakins
Numerous issues create ethical tension in OFCCP audits. This presentation will provide attendees with best practices for avoiding OFCCP claims such as denial of access, retaliation, intimidation, and interference. Led by an experienced management-side attorney and a former OFCCP district director, the presentation will include ethical/strategic considerations in dealing with OFCCP’s requests, will provide pointers on how to effectively disagree with OFCCP; and will outline best practices for a good faith conciliation process with OFCCP.
Mid-Morning Breakouts - 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
BK-4: Managing the “He Said, She Said” Investigation (EEO)
Anne-Marie Verycrusse Welch, Partner, Clark Hill
One of the most challenging workplace harassment claims is the classic “he said, she said” scenario, where the accuser claims that the accused did something, and the accused denies it. Novice investigators may claim they cannot make a determination and take no action. It is the role of the investigator, however, to make the difficult credibility determinations that will reveal where the truth lies and whether the accused has actually engaged in workplace harassment. This workshop will teach investigators how to dig deeper and ultimately make a credibility determination that will not create liability for the employer.
BK-6: The Changing World of Demographics – No Labels (AA/EEO)
Bill Osterndorf, CEO, HR Analytical Services
Employers are required to gather information on race, sex, and other classifications for various purposes. This information may then be reported to agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, collecting and reporting on this information has become more difficult in an environment when the definition of previously well-understood classifications such as “sex” and “race” are in a state of flux. In this presentation, we will examine the ways in which our traditional understanding of “sex” and “race” no longer fit the modern workplace and how employers need to adapt to this new world.
BK-7: Top 10 Common Compensation Mistakes in Practice and Analysis
Daniel Kuang, Vice President of Legal and Audit Support Services, Biddle Consulting Group
With the notable increase in attention to pay equity issues and enforcement actions, federal
contractors and the OFCCP are responding with an equal uptick in compensation analysis and
related efforts. Unfortunately, there are many common compensation mistakes, both in practice and analysis, that unnecessarily stand in the way of progressive compensation equity. Many compensation analysts (consultants and OFCCP alike) make common analytical data modeling mistakes that result in one of two categories of false findings: 1) Finding significant pay disparity when there is no significant pay difference. 2) Finding no significant pay disparity when there is significant pay difference. The consequence is serious for both the contractor and OFCCP alike. For the federal contractor, they may be making invalid and inappropriate pay adjustments which expose them to unnecessary litigation risks. For the OFCCP, these mistakes have hampered enforcement success and/or unnecessarily dragged out audit investigations. This session will identify these common mistakes and show how to avoid them.
Afternoon Breakouts - 2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
BK-8: The Debate Over Trauma Informed Interviewing (EEO)
Kathy Lasher, Associate Vice President Office of Institutional Equity, The Ohio State University
Mary Ann Martinez, Central Michigan University
Investigating harassment or similar types of sensitive employee relations cases can trip up investigators leading them to ask wrong questions or elicit responses that may not validate the complaint made, potentially leaving the organization open for liability for not conducting an adequate investigation. Trauma impacts every area of a person’s functioning. Understanding the physical, mental, behavioral, and social impact that trauma has on a person is critical as you develop a strategy to conduct an investigation that will elicit better responses that lead to more productive investigations. This session will discuss the debate over Trauma Informed Interviewing, what types of cases Trauma Informed Interviewing works well with, the process of how to conduct a Trauma Informed Interview, and the types of questions for this approach.
BK-9: Embracing Diversity & Fostering Inclusion: The Importance of Outreach in the Hiring of Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities (Diversity)
Candee Chambers, Executive Director, DirectEmployers
Diversity and inclusion programs have become more than just HR checklist items. They have grown to be an essential function of any business and have also been proven to positively impact not only the organization’s culture but also its bottom line. One of the fastest-growing areas of diversity and inclusion programs happen to be the recruitment, hiring, and retention of veterans and people with disabilities, and with good reason – because it’s the right thing to do. Where do you find qualified individuals to fill your open positions? With an all-time low unemployment rate for veterans, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is nearly double the national average, making this an untapped talent pool for employers. During this session, discussions will include the importance both veterans and individuals with disabilities play in the workplace from both a compliance and recruitment standpoint; the current state of disability and inclusion programs and the growth in not only hiring efforts but also changing viewpoints; how diversity and inclusion policies bring opportunities to learn from others and grow personally and professionally; how inclusion programs help to bridge talent gaps and foster creativity and innovation; and the accommodations and support needed from hiring managers, recruiters, and team leads after a hire is made.
BK-10: Focused Reviews
Laura Mitchell, Principle, Jackson Lewis
Over the last year, the leadership at OFCCP has been transforming the Agency’s approach to compliance evaluations. OFCCP is driving toward quicker, more pointed reviews that allow the Agency to conduct more audits, touch more contractors, and cover more road in ensuring compliance – enter the “focused review.” In August 2018, OFCCP announced that in addition to being eligible for the typical, comprehensive compliance evaluations, contractors may now be selected for “mini-audits” that would focus on just one law – either Executive Order 11246 or VEVRRA or Section 503 – or an area of the law, “promotions”. Of course, “compliance” under each law includes a vast array of obligations from outreach to recordkeeping to data evaluations, all of which may be scrutinized in focused reviews. The good news for contractors is that focused reviews are not nearly as heavy on data collection or analysis. The bad news is they include “onsite” investigations complete with interviews, to evaluate areas that even well-intentioned contractors can overlook. So how should contractors prepare for the prospect of an EO 11246, VEVRAA, or Section 503 focused review? This session will explore this question, share insights from reviews that have been conducted thus far, and provide practical tips for ensuring your organization is prepared.