The five-year anniversary of the revised Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (503) regulations is fast approaching. This anniversary will allow for profound reflection by contractors on their progress made to attract, select, advance and retain individuals with disabilities in the workplace. It is...more
When we ask our employees to voluntarily report their race, ethnicity, and gender, we will almost always end up with a small proportion of the population who choose not to provide such demographic information. There are any number of reasons for this. For a growing...more
Recordkeeping violations continue to be the top violation during an OFCCP audit. These voluminous, and often cumbersome, requirements are intended to promote equal opportunity during a company’s hiring process. They can also promote confusion among unsuspecting employers, making...more
From Think Tank meetings to conferences, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) has heard from many businesses that actively seek strategies to recruit people with disabilities into their workforces. Businesses are increasingly aware that people with disabilities...more
Corinne Weible Co-Director, Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology
Ask the Experts is an online forum where federal contractors and subcontractors are invited to submit questions to industry experts related to OFCCP compliance, affirmative action planning, and equal employment opportunity. Simply register your company on LocalJobNetwork.com to submit a question. Questions and answers will occasionally be featured in The OFCCP Digest for the benefit of all readers.
Question: How Should I Think About Promotions?
In our current system, we do not promote employees in the usual fashion. What we do is open the position internally, have people apply, and then give the job to the best qualified person. This is very taxing on time, but is the only way we know how to stay compliant.
There must be a mechanism where federal contractors can promote people without going through that whole process. Am I reading into it too much or are we truly playing by the book? Is there a process I can implement so we can shoulder-tap and stay compliant?
OFCCP has never provided effective guidance regarding promotions. Many people read the agency's "Internet Applicant" regulations as a guideline to dealing with promotions, but a close reading of those regulations suggest that they were developed to deal with issues surrounding new hires (that is, external selections) rather than promotions (that is, internal selections).
OFCCP does not force employers to provide an avenue for employees to express interest in every internal opening. The agency recognizes that some internal openings will be filled through natural progression or through the selection of an obvious candidate for the opening. What OFCCP does require is that employers ensure there is no discrimination in regard to the selection process for internal or external openings.
There is value in providing a mechanism for employees to express interest in internal openings. From a regulatory perspective, such a mechanism establishes a clearly defined pool of candidates for the opening. From an employee morale perspective, such a mechanism establishes that the employer is interested in the welfare and advancement of employees. However, this does not mean that every internal opening must provide a mechanism to consider multiple candidates.
The best course of action is to establish a policy for which internal openings will be opened to multiple candidates. A policy that says "All openings except those where there is a natural line of progression will be posted for employees to express interest" would be one approach to dealing with situations where there are these natural lines of progression. A policy that says "All openings except those in senior management" or that says "All openings except those at a defined grade or wage level" would also be acceptable to OFCCP so long as such a policy does not artificially prevent any particular demographic group from receiving consideration.
Scheduling Letter for Section 503 Focused Reviews
An approved version of the scheduling letter for Section 503 focused reviews is available to the public. The updated scheduling letter was approved without comment as it was determined it would not create an additional burden for federal contractors and subcontractors. There is discussion that the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) will present a webinar in conjunction with the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and OFCCP regarding this topic.
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are the opinions of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of LocalJobNetwork™. The information appearing in this newsletter is meant to provide the reader with a general understanding of topics relating to OFCCP compliance requirements and is not legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice to address OFCCP compliance issues or requirements, you should consult an attorney. LocalJobNetwork™ expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this newsletter.