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OFCCP's Compensation Standards and Guidelines

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Under federal affirmative action regulations, federal contractors are required to conduct an annual self-evaluation of compensation with respect to gender, race and ethnicity. Even though the self-evaluation is required, the published affirmative action regulations didn’t give much guidance to employers on how to perform that self-evaluation. That changed in June of 2006, when the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs – the OFCCP – released its final document regarding federal contractors’ examination of compensation practices with respect to gender, race and ethnicity. Since then, nearly every federal contractor relied on these guidelines to perform the required compensation self-evaluation. Even employers who don’t have federal contracts used them, and I’ve relied on them in designing compensation analyses for my clients. But we’re soon to be without those guidelines. At the National Industry Liaison Group conference earlier this month, Patricia Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, announced that the compensation standards and guidelines are going to be rescinded. It’s not clear what will replace these guidelines, or when the replacement will occur. And some employers are feeling what some have called an informational void. Today, we’ll be talking about those guidelines and possible replacements with our guest Leigh Nason. Ms. Nason is a shareholder in the Columbia, South Carolina office of Ogletree Deakins, and she chairs the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group. She devotes the majority of her law practice to representing federal contractors and subcontractors in compliance evaluations and administrative enforcement action triggered by the OFCCP. She is regularly involved in investigating and resolving systemic discrimination issues stemming from statistical disparities in hiring, compensation and testing, and she has extensive experience negotiating allegations of back pay liability and other sanctions imposed by the OFCCP.

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