Steering and compensation issues look to be biggest issue to impact OFCCP compliance in 2015


2014 was a busy year for the OFCCP and for employers with federal contracts. Last March, government contractors were required to start soliciting disability information from applicants and there were also new reporting requirements put in place for protected veterans as part of updates to Section 503 and VEVRAA regulations. The new regulations created a significant impact on employers. Will there be more major changes to OFCCP regulations in 2015?

Lynn Clements has provided some insights in a recent post at the Berkshire Associates blog regarding news from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. It’s worth considering as you anticipate what will occur during your firm’s OFCCP compliance reviews.

Focus on ‘Steering’
The OFCCP will be focusing on the issue of “steering” to a greater degree in 2015, noted Clements. Steering occurs when HR personnel place or “steer” recruits of a particular minority group or gender toward careers or jobs that tend to bring fewer opportunities and diminished pay. At the OFCCP, officials view steering as a matter of payment discrimination and will be keeping an eye out for this practice, whether it is carried out intentionally or not. HR departments could be accused of steering even if an objective analysis of their placement statistics shows that they are definitely underutilizing candidates. Investigators will be looking across the industry for systemic issues, so you will want to review your policies and practices in anticipation of possibly receiving a notice of an upcoming OFCCP audit.

Other Compensation Issues to Consider
Clements also advises that contractors should expect that the OFCCP will be asking contractors for more data on their compensation rates at the level of individual employees this year. With the White House focusing on “fair pay” as an enforcement issue, the OFCCP will be examining bonuses and other incentives, market and territory assignments and overtime. This means that your office should make sure you are maintaining proper documentation for your yearly self-evaluation to show the details of your hiring and compensation practices.

Remember to stay abreast of OFCCP issues and learn all you can to help you follow industry best practices in your hiring decision making. You’ll be rewarded by developing a great roster of employees while giving your company’s executives the peace of mind that comes from knowing their recruitment efforts are adhering to government regulations and policies.

Don’t go it alone in 2015
2015 should be quite a year for the OFCCP and for federal contractors. Here at Newton, we will continue to analyze and monitor any changes to OFCCP regulations so employers using the Newton applicant tracking system will have the most complete, up to date compliance functionality available.

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