The Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Patricia A. Shiu, just announced that prior voluntary guidelines and compliance standards for federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with equal pay obligations will be rescinded, effective February 28, 2013. The OFCCP will be instituting new procedures which, in effect, would broaden the scope of OFCCP’s investigations and allow OFCCP to “use every enforcement tool at its disposal to combat pay discrimination.”
In connection with its new efforts to remedy pay discrimination, the OFCCP issued Directive 307, setting forth the procedures for OFCCP contractors to review contractor compensation systems and practices. The OFCCP also issued helpful “FAQs” to assist in navigating through the Directive and will be providing webinars to assist contractors with compliance.
We have a few of our own FAQs which may be helpful to employers and in-house counsel:
Q: Does this apply to my company?
A: If you are an employer with federal service or supply contracts or subcontracts that exceed $10,000 or that will (or can reasonably be expected to) accumulate to more than $10,000 in any 12-month period, you are required to comply with Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the … Keep reading
A recent decision by a full panel of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) emphasizes the need for supervisors to understand their duty to act to ensure that unlawful harassment allegations are addressed and that any such conduct ceases.
Since 1998, two cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, enable employers to avoid liability for employee claims of sexual harassment based on a hostile work environment brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 if: (1) the employer took reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the harassing or discriminatory behavior, and (2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventive or corrective opportunities provided. Employer policies, training for its supervisors and investigative processes are taken into consideration in determining whether there were sufficient preventive or corrective opportunities provided to employees. If the conduct, however, results in a tangible employment action such as a demotion or termination, then the Faragher/Ellerth affirmative defense is unavailable to the employer.
Although many states have not adopted this defense, a few states have advanced the law at the state level, at least in theory, to permit employers … Keep reading
In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed four steps that I recommend employers follow in using criminal records. Here in Part 3 and the last part of this series, I address the process of the handling of the documents.
Step 5: Handling Documents with CORI
Criminal records information obtained from any source is confidential, and employers must take precautions to insure that such information is protected from disclosure. Because of the highly confidential nature of criminal records, the number of individuals who are authorized to request, access, receive and review such information must be limited, and there are strict procedures for handling, storing and destroying criminal records information. The new regulations provide for controls by:
- Requiring the designation of a CORI Representative for an employer;
- Requiring a Secondary Dissemination Log to track all distribution of CORI;
- Limiting employer registration for CORI to one year increments; and
- Limiting the validity of employee or applicant Acknowledgement Forms to 12 months from the execution date or the end of employment, whichever is sooner.
… Keep reading
In my prior blog post, I provided the first two steps for an employer to obtain and use CORI in Massachusetts based on the new CORI regulations issued on May 25, 2012. This post addresses the next two steps in this process.
These blog posts also address when an employer conducts its own CORI checks. However, instead of conducting the background checks themselves, employers may request an outside consumer reporting agency to perform the background checks. If you use or are an outside consumer reporting agency, please note that some of the requirements of the new regulations may be different than described in my blog posts.
Step 3: Notifying Employee/Applicant of CORI
Once CORI is obtained by an employer, the employer must provide to the employee or applicant a copy of the obtained information and the source of the CORI before making any adverse employment decision based on the CORI, or even asking the employee/applicant questions regarding his/her criminal record.
If the employer intends to make an adverse employment decision based on the CORI, the employer is first required to:
- notify the individual in writing of the potential adverse employment action;
- provide a copy of the CORI, identifying
… Keep reading