National ILG 2016 Conference Highlights

The National Industry Liaison Group’s (NILG) annual conference was held this week and attended by nearly 800 practitioners.  This is notable attendance in light of the fact that the conference was held in Charlotte, NC and several ‘would be’ attendees opted-out as a means of support to the LBGT community.

For their part, the NILG, its sponsors and presenters, including Biddle Consulting Group, were in Charlotte to reinforce their commitment to EEO, Affirmative Action, and equal access for all.  Participation in this year’s conference was meant as a strong statement to support the LGBT community and against the recent law passed in North Carolina which serves to diminish or eliminate their civil rights.

National Director of the OFCCP, Patricia Shiu, began the conference with a keynote address that highlighted the changes the Agency has made under her seven-year tenure, as well as restating the OFCCP’s vision and focus during the remaining years of the Obama administration.  Here are the highlights of Director Shiu’s address:

Accomplishments:

  • The OFCCP has “changed dramatically” since her tenure began in 2009.
  • During her tenure, the Agency has protected workers, increased diversity and improved the way compliance reviews are conducted.
  • New, robust pay transparency enforcement was introduced.
  • Reviewed over 28,000 sites with 12 million workers.
  • “Overall, we have found that contractors comply with the law.”
  • “Our job is not done until aggrieved workers are made whole.”
  • Launched the Class Member Locator tool online.
  • There has been an increase in the number of individuals with disabilities who have been hired by contractors.
  • E.O. 13672 widened the non-discrimination protections for workers to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Sex discrimination guidelines were reviewed for first time since 1976 and address the reality of today’s workplaces.  The Final Rule becomes effective August 15, 2016.

Vision:

  • “Pay discrimination is a high priority at the OFCCP because it is a high priority with President Obama.”
  • “Contractors must pay workers fairly.”
  • “We have prioritized pay discrimination and that is not going to change.”
  • “We want to conduct audits in a fair, neutral, and expeditious way.”  To that end, Director Shiu urged contractors to provide compensation data up front during compliance reviews in order to process audits quickly and without delay.  She discouraged attorneys from advising their clients to submit their comp data in a piecemeal fashion.

In addition to the OFCCP’s presence and the array of seasoned presenters, Biddle Consulting Group played a role in the success of this year’s conference by conducting two workshops:

Pre-Conference – Session 3, Workshop 1:  EEO Cross-Fit:  Understanding the Metrics Within Your AAP

Two primary metrics included in an AAP are comparisons of incumbency to availability and disparity analyses.  However, when was the last time practitioners really thought about them?  Are incumbency goals based on the best available data?  Do disparity analyses accurately reflect reality (i.e., how decisions were actually made)?  This presentation was designed for the new AAP developer as well as the seasoned veteran interested in improving the accuracy of their plan metrics.  Presenters: Patrick M. Nooren  (Biddle), Philip Akroyd (Biddle)

Conference Day 1 – Session 2, Workshop 5:  No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:  Diversity Initiatives Gone Awry (or “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”)

Too often, goals are seen solely as a recruitment issue…that by simply “casting a broader net,” an organization can make meaningful progress.  Unfortunately, this over-simplified strategy of addressing goals by only diversifying applicant pools while not addressing underlying roadblocks that may exist in the selection process(es) can often lead to elevated adverse impact results.  In short, organizations can “shoot themselves in the foot” by only narrowly focusing on recruitment efforts.  This session focused on bringing these issues to light so that meaningful action-oriented programs can be created.  Presenters: Patrick M. Nooren (Biddle), Criselda Cooper (Biddle)

Photo Ops – Out and About at NILG 2016!

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Patrick Nooren, Ph.D. (Biddle Consulting Group) with EEO Insight author, Soul Cherradi (BP) at the National ILG 2016 Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

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Dining with great clients, partners, and BCG staff. Thank you!

If you missed the conference this year, Biddle encourages you to bookmark the 2017 National ILG Conference scheduled for August 1-4 in San Antonio, TX, as a training destination for your EEO/AA needs.

NILG Seeking Nominations for Pacific Region Vacancy

NILG Pacific Region

The NILG is currently seeking nominations for a Board vacancy in the Pacific Region. If you are interested in serving in this capacity, read the email below for more information:

Dear ILG members,

The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) is currently seeking nominations for a vacancy in the Pacific region.  ILGs is a concept spawned by OFCCP in the early 1980s to encourage open communication between industry and OFCCP.  At the time, the relationship between contractors and OFCCP was adversarial; Industry Liaison Groups (ILG) were a platform to develop a more positive relationship.  The first ILG conference was held in 1983 and the NILG was established to guide the conference and develop a relationship with OFCCP at the National level.  The NILG Board meets with OFCCP and other government agencies on a regular basis to engage in cooperative discussions regarding regulations, compliance, best practices, and successful approaches to ensuring America’s work place is free from unlawful discrimination.

An election for a Board vacancy within the Pacific Region will be conducted for the 4-year term beginning January 1, 2014 and expiring December 31, 2017.  Interested and qualified candidates will appear on a ballot for voting by the Chairs of each of the Pacific Region’s ILGs.  Each chair will vote on behalf of his/her ILG for the candidate deemed best qualified.  Criteria for NILG Board membership includes the following:

  • The member must be an experienced professional employed by an organization or group of organizations that is recognized as a federal contractor or subcontractor and has a written affirmative action program(s);
  • Consultants and attorneys who are practitioners in affirmative action work are eligible for Board membership if less than 25% of the Board Members in a Region are consultants and/or practicing attorneys.  [Currently the Pacific Region exceeds the 25% threshold.]
  • The member must be an active member of an ILG and have experience holding an ILG leadership position within his or her Region.
  • The member must have the support of his or her employer to
    • pay annual dues,
    • organize and/or host Board meetings on a rotating basis and
    • attend a minimum of two of the three regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings.
    • attend monthly conference calls
    • actively participate in a minimum of two Board committees
    • No two or more Board members can work for the same parent company or corporate entity regardless of the Region represented.

If you meet the above criteria and are interested in serving on the Board, please submit a current biography or resume to Sheri Viggiano at sheriv@microsoft.com by COB Monday, November 18, 2013.  I will review your eligibility and confirm your status.

For additional information on the NILG:  http://nationalilg.org/

The NILG Board hopes that there will be significant interest in this professionally rewarding and enriching opportunity.

Thank you,
Sheri Viggiano

Regional Election Task Leader
Pacific Region

 

NILG Conference Recap

Compensation, Veterans, and Disabled have been recurring themes within the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for many years now and were predominately the topic of discussions during the 2013 ILG National (NILG) Conference. We gathered as much insight as was permissible by the OFCCP to provide attendees. Let’s briefly review the Compensation Directive 307 and the proposed regulations for Veterans and Disabled which have been in the public eye for quite some time.

Equal pay and closing the pay gap are priorities for the Obama Administration, so the White House Task Force, comprised of several government entities, was created to help achieve this goal. The OFCCP is one of the agencies delegated with this task and they are doing their part by concentrating on compensation disparity. Since Patricia Shiu became the OFCCP Director, the voluntary Standard Guidelines have been rescinded and just recently replaced with Compensation Directive 307. This Directive will guide Compliance Officers on how to conduct compensation analyses during the audit process. This was certainly a hot topic at the NILG Conference and will continue to be one in the future.

We highly suggest getting acquainted with Compensation Directive 307 with our experts:

Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities have also been an interest of the OFCCP as regulations require Federal contractors to incorporate recruitment and advancement of these persons as part of their Affirmative Action Plan. The Proposed Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 503 was sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) during the week of the NILG and caused plenty of buzz within the Federal contractor community! The OMB has sixty days to review the proposed regulations and can either reject a portion or all of the proposed regulations. If rejected, it will be sent back to the OFCCP for further review. What does this mean for Federal contractors if it does get approved? Additional outreach, recruitment, and analysis for Veterans and Disabled will be required, which will undoubtedly change how we create Affirmative Action Plans.

In other NILG news:
  • Over 75 participants “graduated” from the two-part, three-hour EEO Analysis Bootcamp presented by Drs. Dan Biddle and Patrick Nooren.
  • Dr. Biddle’s panel discussion with Chief Personnel Testing Psychologist, Dr. Richard Tonowski, went well, reminding attendees that enforcement of test validity is still situation-specific!
  • The revised Federal Contract Compliance Manual (FCCM) will be released in the next few months and contractors filing for VETS-100(a) no longer have to submit a formal request via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain their reports.
Many movements and changes are on the horizon so be sure to stay updated on BCGi for all OFCCP and compliance matters!