Affirmative Action Plans – Would your company pass an audit?

 

Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs) are established by federal contractors to detail the commitment of the employer to eliminate discrimination and encourage equal employment opportunities in the workplace. Now is the time to review your AAP as the new year is quickly approaching.

 

Who is required to have an AAP?

 

According to Executive Order 11246, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) requires federal contractors who employ 50+ professionals and provide government contracts totaling or exceeding $50,000 to have a written detailed affirmative action plan for each establishment over 50 employees, and to update it annually.

 

What are the requirements of an AAP?

 

Follow the link below to the OFCCP Compliance Review Checklist on the Helios HR blog to help ensure your AAP would pass an audit:
Your AAP Checklist

 

Not in compliance?

 

Failing to comply with affirmative action can cost your company serious cash. Not only can your company be permanently banned from obtaining government contracts, but the government will no longer commit to outstanding contract awards and may require the payment of costly fines.

If you are interested in learning more about how Helios HR can help you develop, execute and monitor an effective AAP, please contact Bridget Pulivarti via email at bpulivarti@helioshr.com or call her at 703-860-3882 x 118.

 

 

OFCCP – What to expect in an Audit by the OFCCP

The OFCCP requires companies that have 50+ employees and a federal contract of $50,000 or more to have a written affirmative action plan (AAP) for each of its qualifying establishments in order to display a firm effort for equality. A contractor's AAP is subject to an audit to determine affirmative action compliance by the OFCCP.

 

Government contractors are randomly selected for an audit or compliance review. However, companies with employee relations issues resulting in formal complaints at the Department of Labor will typically be audited.

 

In the event of an audit, you will receive a form letter allowing 30 days to respond with your affirmative action data. Compliance reviews or audits typically start as a "Desk Audit." You will submit the data requested by the OFCCP and a Compliance Officer will begin a review of your information. It is important to always demonstrate a "Good Faith Effort" and that your policies are enforced with equality. If no issues are discovered by the Compliance Officer, you will receive a letter of compliance. In the event that some issues were discovered, you can expect a full audit of your practices and procedures and to provide written explanation for issues that were identified in the audit. Additionally, the OFCCP may visit onsite of your facility to review I-9 forms, policies, data in your personnel files, and conduct interviews with your employees.

 

Over the past few years, the focus of compliance reviews and audits has been on compensation and hiring practices. It is important to develop compensation systems that do not discriminate, but instead provide equal pay to all employees based on their positions as pay equity issues are a common discovery when compensation is reviewed. Most often these inequities are unintentional by the employer, but not knowing will not keep you out of trouble.

 

It is important to ensure that your recruiting and hiring practices are both well-documented and followed. As the employer, you should test these practices to ensure they are working properly and free of discrimination. We recommend a quarterly review that is documented. Again, ignorance is not an excuse. The OFCCP's expectation is that the employers are proactive in being compliant with the regulations of the Executive Orders.

 

Once your audit is complete, you can expect one of the following:

  • Letter of compliance or letter stating you are on the right track and to continue your efforts.
  • Conciliation Agreement where you and OFCCP agree on items to improve. Not only can these be for minor or major violations, but you may also be subject to inspections that will guarantee the conditions of the agreement are being met.

 

It is best to ensure you have your Affirmative Action Program in order prior to an audit. Once employers reach contracts of $10,000 you are required to begin Affirmative Action practices. It is when you cross the 50/50 threshold when your obligations are formalized into written plans. Beginning your practices and procedures early in the development of your organization will save you big headaches when audited.

 

 

Helios HR Apollo Awards™ – Nominations Open January 26th!

Nominations for the Helios HR Apollo Awards™ will open January 26th and will be accepted through February 19, 2010. The Apollo Awards™ recognize Washington-area employers that promote employee development. To gather additional information from last year's program, click here now.

 

The Apollo Awards™ Roundtable held on October 28th was a success! Thank you to BF Saul Company Hotel Division and Beers + Cutler, two of our Apollo Award -winning firms, for presenting those best practices in employee development that they each demonstrate.

 

BF Saul Company
BF Saul Company made a surprise appearance at the Helios HR Apollo Roundtable with their Big 3 Mascot!

 

Issue 23 | November 2009
In this Issue

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

An opportunity to give back! We seek your support!

Winter Coat Drive for those in need - Begins on 11/15! Donate here!

 

 

Optimizing Human Capital – 2009 Best Practices in Professional Development and Employee Growth


The Washington Metropolitan Area represents one of the most competitive employment markets in the nation. Helios HR, LLC, with the help of Market Connections, has evaluated firms who work collaboratively with their employees to make Employee Development not only a priority, but an essential part of their culture. In doing so, these firms often enjoy higher productivity, profit, and performance than their competitors. Download your copy here.

 

 

 

 

About Helios HR

Helios HR client-focused delivery models include:

HR Outsourcing
HR Consulting
Interim HR Management

Additional information is available at www.helioshr.com

 

 
 

 

 

 

   
 

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