Earlier this year, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) published a notice of its intent to revise the standard scheduling letter sent to contractors at the start of a compliance review. The proposed changes to the scheduling letter significantly increase the burden on contractors as the OFCCP’s proposed scheduling letter broadens the scope of data required to be supplied by the contractor during the early stages of a compliance review.
Specifically, some of the key changes to the scheduling letter (and attached itemized list) proposed by the OFCCP will require contractors to:
Provide copies of their last two years of VETS-100/VETS-100A reports.
Submit copies of their leave policies – including policies related to FMLA leave, pregnancy leave, and leave for religious observances or activities. In addition, if these leave policies are published in the contractor’s employee handbook, the proposed letter requests that the relevant leave pages, as well as the handbook’s cover and table of contents, be provided to the OFCCP.
Turn over “other documents . . . such as policy statements, employee notices or handbooks, etc. that implement, explain, or elaborate on the provisions of” any collective bargaining agreement submitted.
Provide more detailed information regarding personnel activity – that is terminations, hires, and promotions – purportedly so that the OFCCP can better identify discrimination in such areas. In particular, the proposed letter will require contractors to provide data in a way that an affected employee’s sub-minority, job group, and job title can be determined and used to analyze the data. In other words, contractors will be required to provide data regarding applicants, hires, promotions, and terminations broken down by each race, sex, and ethnicity and not for all minorities as whole as is currently permitted.
Supply individualized compensation data for each employee (employed as of February 1 of the current year) by job title, EEO-1 category, and job group. The proposed letter demands that the contractor provide data for all employees (including but not limited to full-time, part-time, contract, per diem, or day labor, or temporary employees). In addition, the proposed letter requests that such compensation data be provided in an electronic Excel format if available.
Provide information regarding the contractor’s definition of the term “promotion” and identify the “actual pool of candidates who applied or were considered for promotion”.
Supply data regarding “all” terminations and identify which terminations were voluntary or involuntary.
Although the OFCCP predicts that the time spent by contractors to respond to its proposed scheduling letter will actually be less than the time spent by contractors to respond to the current scheduling letter, Human Resources organizations estimate that the OFCCP’s proposed changes could increase the burden on contractors by 25% or more. Accordingly, contractors would be well-advised to stay on top of any developments in this important area.