OFCCP Releases Final Rule Revising Sex Discrimination Guidelines

The OFCCP announced the publication of a Final Rule on June 14, 2016, revising and replacing its current Sex Discrimination Guidelines. The revisions rescind procedures that have remained unchanged for over four decades to reflect a more accurate portrayal of current day organizational profiles. The Final Rule updates guidelines on a wide variety of issues ranging from compensation discrimination to gender identity and family care giving discrimination.

What are the key pieces of the Final Rule that will affect the Federal Contracting Community?

The items listed below were highlighted in the Final Rule’s Factsheet:

  • Clarifies that adverse treatment of an employee because of gender-stereotype assumptions relating to family caretaking responsibilities is discrimination.
  • Clarifies that flexible workplace arrangements for childcare must be available to men on the same basis that it is available to women.
  • Confirms that contractors must provide a variety of workplace accommodations, ranging from extra bathroom breaks to light-duty assignments, for women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions comparable to the accommodations that contractors provide to other workers similar in their ability or inability to work, such as employees with disabilities or occupational injuries.
  • Further sets out disparate-treatment and disparate-impact approaches to the provisions for accommodations and leave, not limited to disparate-impact analyses on policies and procedures that deny such accommodations and/or leave.
  • Clarifies that contractors may not pay employees different wages, benefits, or any other forms of compensation on the basis of sex.
  • Confirms that contractors must provide equal benefits and equal contributions for male and female employees participating in fringe-benefit plans.
  • Addresses both quid pro quo and hostile-environment sexual harassment, and identifies as a best practice that contractors develop and implement procedures to ensure an environment in which all employees feel safe and welcomed, are treated fairly, and are not harassed on the basis of sex.
  • Clarifies that adverse treatment of employees because they do not conform to gender norms and expectations about their appearance, attire, or behavior, is unlawful sex discrimination.
  • Clarifies that discrimination against an individual because of her or his gender identity is unlawful sex discrimination.
  • Requires contractors to allow workers to use bathrooms, changing rooms, showers and similar facilities consistent with the gender they identify as.
  • Changes the “Sex Discrimination Guidelines” to regulations about “Discrimination on the Basis of Sex” to make clear that they have the force and effect of law.

The Final Rule goes into effect on August 15, 2016.

Additional information, including FAQs and a crosswalk of comparisons between the old guidelines and the new, can be viewed on the OFCCP website:

https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/sexdiscrimination.html

OFCCP Pay Transparency Final Rule – Audio Broadcast

As most contractors are aware, the final rule regarding pay transparency has been published and became effective since January 11, 2016.  In their continued effort to educate the federal contracting community, the OFCCP hosted a webinar to review the final rule and offer the chance to answer contractor questions. The first webinar registration filled up incredibly quickly, so the OFCCP announced an encore presentation of their webinar on January 28, 2016 at 2:00 EST. The registration for the second webinar filled up just as quickly as the first, and in an effort to accommodate the contractors that wish to attend, the OFCCP is broadcasting the audio for the webinar live.

To access the live stream, please click the following link:
http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=1117642&s=1&k=94CF71D01B12CA1727E879A118230FB8

If you were unable to attend the first webinar and are also unable to stream the audio, you can read our blog on the key points from the first presentation: http://affirmativeaction.com/news/review-of-ofccp-pay-transparency-webinar/

If you have additional questions about the Pay Transparency regulation, feel free to contact us via e-mail at staff@biddle.com or toll-free at (800) 999-0438.

An In-depth Look at OFCCP’s Section 503 and VEVRAA Final Rules


A BCGI Platinum Webinar Presentation on Friday, September 20th

Join Biddle Consulting Group’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Patrick Nooren for an in-depth review of the OFCCP’s Section 503 Final Rule.

Patrick Nooren, Ph.D.

Patrick Nooren, Ph.D.

On August 27, 2013, Vice President Biden announced two new rules that represent an historic advance for veterans and individuals with disabilities.  In conjunction with the announcement, the OFCCP announced that Federal contractors will be required to demonstrate good faith efforts as well as meet certain metrics for hiring rates of veterans and employment percentages for those with disabilities, within a 180 days of final publication of the rules.  It is anticipated that Contractors developing AAPs shortly after the first of the year (approximately March 1) will be required to include such metrics in their annual affirmative action plan.

The Section 503 rule establishes an aspirational 7% utilization goal for the employment of individuals with disabilities.

You can read the Final Rule on the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/503Rule/.

Webinar Content:

During this more in-depth webinar, Patrick will review the highlights to the change and provide feedback to the contracting community regarding the best practices in making the transition to new metrics.  This is BCGI’s follow-up webinar to the initial 503 reviews completed Sept 4. This in-depth presentation will discuss calculations and outline the “brass-tax” of both the Section 503 and VEVRAA rules.

Platinum Membership Benefit: Platinum Members, your registration for this event is FREE! Please login into your BCGi account before registering. To receive your webinar link, you must pre-register.

Registration Information:

Date: Friday, September 20, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Cost: $99; FREE for BCGi Platinum Members
Registration Link: https://bcginstitute.site-ym.com/store/view_product.asp?ID=2008554

Registered attendees will be emailed the webinar link prior to the event. If you have any questions, please contact Heather Patchell at bcgi@biddle.com or call 800-99-0438.


Become a BCGi Platinum Member and this premium webinar will be FREE,
along with all of the Platinum Members-Only webinars that BCGi offers throughout the year.

Changes in Regulations Regarding Protected Veterans and Section 503 for Individuals with Disabilities

Several Biddle Consulting Group employees are attending the National Industry Liaison Group Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN.   The word at the conference early this afternoon was that the OFCCP has submitted their request for changes in the regulations regarding Protected Veterans and Section 503 for Individuals with Disabilities.   Biddle has confirmed that the rule changes are in their final stage and could be approved by the OMB within the next 60 days.  It is also still possible that the OMB will reject certain portions of both rules and send the documents back to the OFCCP for further review/revisions. Ultimately, once the rules are approved it is likely to take several weeks, if not months, for the OFCCP to publish.

As the process unfolds, Biddle will post updates and schedule BCGi webinars to keep you informed.

STAGE: Final Rule
RIN: 1250-AA00
RECEIVED DATE: 07/30/2013

Title: Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors Regarding Protected Veterans

Abstract: This Rulemaking would revise the regulations in 41 CFR parts 60-250 and 60-300 implementing the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA). This Rulemaking would strengthen the affirmative action requirements for Federal contractors and subcontractors. The rule would amend the regulations to require that Federal contractors and subcontractors conduct more substantive analyses of recruitment and placement actions taken under VEVRAA and would require the use of benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts. The rule would also make revisions to recordkeeping requirements.

http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201304&RIN=1250-AA00

STAGE: Final Rule
DOL/OFCCP
RIN: 1250-AA02
RECEIVED DATE: 07/31/2013

Title: Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Obligations of Contractors and Subcontractors Regarding Individuals with Disabilities

Abstract: This rulemaking would amend 41 CFR part 60-741, the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions of section 503. This rulemaking would strengthen the affirmative action requirements for Federal contractors and subcontractors. The rule would amend the regulations to require that Federal contractors and subcontractors increase conduct more substantive analyses of recruitment and placement actions taken under section 503. The rule would also increase the contractor’s data collection obligations, make revisions to recordkeeping requirements, and establish a utilization goal to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the contractor’s affirmative action efforts. In addition, the rule will incorporate changes to the nondiscrimination provisions necessitated by the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201304&RIN=1250-AA02