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OFCCP posts Corporate Scheduling Announcement List on Website (Mar. 2019)

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Today, OFCCP released its next Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) in the OFCCP FOIA Library. This is the first time OFCCP has posted the CSAL only in the FOIA Library without mailing advanced contractor notifications to individual establishments.

OFCCP also posted its updated scheduling methodology and Frequently Asked Questions on CSAL and Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations. All of these compliance resources, in addition to a page dedicated to Section 503 Focused Reviews, are available here.

For the first time, the CSAL includes Section 503 Focused Reviews as outlined in our Focused Review Directive (DIR 2018-04) and compliance checks as outlined in our Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative Directive (DIR 2018-07). Compliance reviews are still included on the list.

We strongly encourage contractors to subscribe to OFCCP Email Updates to receive timely notification of the CSAL and other compliance assistance resources.

LEADERS REPRESENTING INDUSTRIES AND ASSOCIATIONS JOIN EEOC FOR ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON HARASSMENT PREVENTION (Mar. 20, 2019)

Monday, March 25th, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) convened an “Industry Leaders Roundtable Discussion on Harassment Prevention.” The Roundtable continues the EEOC’s efforts to lead harassment prevention efforts, including two Commission meetings and a Reconvening of the Select Task Force in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The roundtable will inform strategies for the next generation of issues flowing from the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace in 2015, the task force Co-Chairs’ 2016 Report, and the #MeToo movement.

“The EEOC gathered these leaders to better understand the needs of the workers and employers in their industries and the wide range of solutions to prevent workplace harassment,” said EEOC Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “The EEOC stands ready to help in the effort to change workplace cultures to be more respectful and inclusive,” added Lipnic.

EEOC Commissioner Charlotte A. Burrows stated, “Today’s roundtable discussion is an important step in furthering the Commission’s goal of ending workplace harassment and implementing strategies to build on the work of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. I am pleased to have the thoughtful input from so many different industries, and I will continue to work to ensure the Commission remains a valuable resource in this area.”

Representatives from a diverse group of industries and associations discussed challenges their members and the public face in addressing issues raised by the #MeToo movement. Participants also shared strategies they have implemented to improve workplace culture and reduce harassment.

Rosanna Maietta, Executive Vice President of Communications & Public Relations of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and President of the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation, described the 5-Star Promise, a pledge to provide hotel employees with employee safety devices and to adopt enhanced policies, trainings and resources to improve hotel safety, including preventing and responding to sexual harassment and assault.

Andy Brantley, President and CEO of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, shared that “we cannot simply ‘train away’ harassment. Training and heightening awareness will always be important, but we must be committed to creating and sustaining workplace cultures that do not tolerate harassment in any way, shape or form.”

Stephanie Martz, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Retail Federation, explained that “retailers recognize that training and a company culture of respect and inclusion are critical to effective prevention and compliance efforts.” She noted one challenge her organization and its members have identified is the importance of tailoring training to address the unique realities of the retail workplace.

Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of the National Venture Capital Association, emphasized that “harassment is interconnected with the lack of diversity and inclusiveness in our industry.” As a result, his organization surveys members to understand the scope of the harassment problem in their industry, and it has taken multiple steps to improve education by drafting model policies and a best practices guide.

James Banks, Jr., General Counsel of the Society for Human Resources Management, stated that his organization is providing human resource professionals with programming on workplace civility, inclusion, workplace investigations that can improve culture, and anti-harassment strategies. Mr. Banks explained that “the #MeToo movement has been a call to action for organizational leaders to assess their workplaces to ensure they have a healthy culture and live that culture in all they do.”

The following industry and association representatives participated in the Roundtable:

Bob Carlson, President, American Bar Association
Rosanna Maietta, Executive Vice President of Communications & Public Relations of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and President, American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation
Stephen Dwyer, General Counsel, American Staffing Association
Andy Brantley, President and CEO, College & University Professional Association for Human Resources
Suzanne Beall, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy, International Franchise Association
James Rizzo, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, National Association of Home Builders
William Dombi, President, National Association for Home Care & Hospice
Linda Kelly, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary, National Association of Manufacturers
Stephanie Martz, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Retail Federation
Bobby Franklin, President and CEO, National Venture Capital Association
James Banks, Jr., General Counsel, Society for Human Resource Management
Arianne Massey, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America

The written statements that were submitted are available at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_force/harassment/3-20-19/.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

Secretary DeVos Issues Statement on President Trump’s Higher Education Executive Order (Mar. 2019)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement today on President Trump’s Executive Order on “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities”:

“All students should have access to relevant, accurate, and transparent data when making decisions about their education. President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on ‘Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities’ once again demonstrates this Administration’s commitment to supporting and empowering students with meaningful resources as they pursue their life-long learning journeys and future careers.

“Per the Executive Order, the Department will continue its efforts to update the College Scorecard so that it includes clear information on the cost of college, expected earnings after graduation, and student loan repayment rates. We will also continue our Federal Student Aid modernization efforts that began with the launch of our first ever mobile app. Right now, students can use the app to complete the FAFSA. And, building on the President’s directive, the app’s capabilities will expand to give students access to information about loan balances, payments, and repayment options right at their fingertips. We believe that these important reforms, along with the Department’s ambitious negotiated rulemaking agenda, will make college more affordable, break down barriers to innovation in higher education, and encourage new approaches and new partnerships for the benefit of students.

“As students pursue their education, they should never face limits on what, when, where, or how they learn. They should be empowered to pursue truth through the free exchange of all ideas, especially ideas with which they may not agree. Free inquiry is an essential feature of our democracy, and I applaud the President’s continued support for America’s students.”

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES AGREEMENT IN LAWSUIT AGAINST HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS TO ENSURE POLLING PLACE ACCESSIBILITY FOR VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES (MAR. 2019)

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

The Justice Department reached an agreement with Harris County, Texas, to resolve its lawsuit alleging that Harris County violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide an accessible voting program to voters with disabilities, including accessible polling places. Harris County’s voting program—the third largest in the country—includes over 750 polling places. The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that many polling places in Harris County have architectural barriers—such as steep ramps, gaps in sidewalks and walkways, and locked gates along the route barring pedestrian access—that make them inaccessible to voters with mobility impairments or voters who are blind or visually impaired. Under the agreement, Harris County will create and implement policies, practices, and procedures to bring its voting program into compliance with the ADA, including creating an effective system for selecting accessible facilities for polling places, surveying polling place facilities for accessibility barriers, procuring and implementing temporary accessibility remedies during elections, providing effective curbside voting, and hiring Subject Matter Experts to provide technical assistance and training to the County as well as provide reports to the parties on the County’s compliance with the agreement.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ADA or this agreement you can visit the ADA website or call the toll-free ADA Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 or 1-800-514-0383 (TDD).

Title VI Consulting Offers On-Demand Webcasts for EO Officers and Title VI Coordinators | Compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws and Conducting Discrimination Complaint Investigations (2019)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

OUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SERIES

As part of our Professional Development Series, we offer certificate-based webcast courses designed to help policymakers and professionals in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance, and complaint investigations gain a better understanding of the requirements of applicable federal civil rights laws. Our course selections are as follows:

How to Comply with Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: A Comprehensive Overview

Conducting Discrimination Complaint Investigations under WIOA Section 188: Proper Process and Technique

How to Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview

Comments for our webcasts include “I thoroughly enjoyed them,” “extremely informative,” “outstanding,” “highly relevant,” and “very impressive.”

OUR ON-DEMAND WEBCASTS ARE:

    Convenient.

Watch the webcast of your choice at a time and place convenient to you. Get yourself, your staff, and your service providers, partners, and contractors up-to-speed quickly.

    Cost-effective.

At a cost of only $29.00 per webcast, you’ll find no more cost-effective solution to your training needs. There are no travel costs, and no lost time from work. These webcasts are the best value for your dollar!

    Content-rich.

Each webcast is packed with useful information, guidance, and helpful tips. Participants state that our webcasts are “excellent,” “very informative,” and “highly-organized.” Participants will receive a copy of the PowerPoint presentation used for the webcast.

    Certificate-based.

Within three to five business days, webinar participants receive, by email, a certificate of attendance at the training for their records.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Title: How to Comply with Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: A Comprehensive Overview

Date: AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND NOW! State Equal Opportunity officers, and leadership of workforce investment boards have required this training of staff, partners, service providers, and contractors, stating it is “very relevant” and delivers “extremely useful guidance.”

Duration: Approximately 52 minutes

Free Handouts Available for Download During the Webcast Are: The detailed PowerPoint presentation used during the webcast, a guidance paper on Equal Opportunity Officers and conflict of interest, sample “I speak” cards, and the PowerPoint presentation used during a Labor Department-hosted presentation on gender identity.

Description: This webcast provides a wealth of information, guidance, and tips to help you ensure compliance with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions of Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) and related federal civil rights laws that apply to the administration, oversight, and delivery process for financially assisted programs and activities. In this webcast, we’ll cover a broad range of compliance issues, including taglines, assurances, Equal Opportunity officers (their selection and duties, and the recipients’ obligations in support of EO officers), serving persons with disabilities, serving LEP populations, differences between program complaints and discrimination complaints, harassment and hostile environment, and data collection, including requirements for the discrimination complaint log and storage of medical information.

Developed for: Whether you are a newly-appointed EO professional, or you are in need refresher training, this webcast is designed for state and local government EO officers, agency heads, legal advisors, contracting and procurement personnel, and other officials involved with issues of compliance with WIOA Section 188. Similarly, management and equal opportunity professionals for private companies and other organizations that contract with state and local governments to operate WIOA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities will find this webcast extremely useful and informative.

Title: Conducting Discrimination Complaint Investigations under WIOA Section 188: Proper Process and Technique

Date: AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND NOW!

Duration: Approximately 39 minutes

Free Handouts Available for Download During the Webcast Are: The detailed PowerPoint presentation used during the webcast, a credibility determinations job aid, and a full set of WIOA Section 188 discrimination complaint templates, including a sample discrimination complaint form and consent form, jurisdiction checklist, complaint investigation plans, and sample notices and letters.

Description: This webcast covers the discrimination complaint investigation process from start to finish, including determining jurisdiction, developing a complaint investigation plan, framing the issue of an investigation, developing interrogatories, preparing a letter of acceptance, gathering and analyzing information, interviewing the parties and witnesses, and writing the notice of final action. Each participant of this webcast will receive a set of templates that they may customize and use for their investigations, including a jurisdiction checklist, sample complaint investigation plans, sample notices rejecting a complaint, a sample letter of acceptance, and a sample notice of final action.

Participants also are encouraged to purchase our book titled, Discrimination Complaint Investigations under the Workforce Investment Act and other Title VI-Related Laws: From Intake to Final Determination. This 5-star rated guide contains numerous examples, sample questions for the parties, and detailed explanations of how to efficiently and effectively conduct and resolve or close a discrimination complaint investigation.

The electronic book is available for $9.99 per copy through iPad, Nook, Kindle, or the publisher at www.outskirtspress.com/civilrights.

Paperback cost: $19.99 per copy. To order the paperback version:

Go to www.outskirtspress.com/civilrights; or

Email the author at seena@titleviconsulting.com, and you will receive an invoice by PayPal ($2.50 per book is added for shipping).

Developed for: WIOA Equal Opportunity (EO) officers, Title VI coordinators, Title VI compliance officers, Title VI liaisons, and any other equal opportunity professionals responsible for conducting investigations of, and resolving, discrimination complaints involving federally-assisted programs and activities. While this webcast uses the nondiscrimination provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 as the source of examples, the material in this webcast is equally applicable when conducting discrimination complaint investigations in any federally-assisted program or activity.

Through this webcast, equal opportunity professionals are provided the process and tools they need to get their jobs done efficiently and competently.

Title: How to Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act: An Overview

Date: AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND NOW!

Duration: Approximately 42 minutes

Free Handouts Available for Download During the Webcast Are: The detailed PowerPoint presentation used during the webcast and sample “I speak” cards.

Description: This popular webcast provides an informative overview of how to comply with the nondiscrimination mandates of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI applies to the administration, oversight, and delivery process of all state and local programs and activities that are federally-assisted. In this webcast, we’ll focus on the scope and meaning of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and we will touch on a variety of compliance-related issues, including environmental justice, serving limited English proficient populations, contracting and procurement, discrimination complaints, harassment and hostile environment, training, monitoring, and data collection. Participants will understand the meaning of race, color, and national origin-based discrimination through Ms. Foster’s use of a variety of easy-to-understand examples. And, participants will learn about surprising federal enforcement policies to include certain types of religious-based discrimination as prohibited under Title VI.

Developed for: Whether you are new to the field, or need refresher training, this webcast is designed for state and local government officials from any size agency or department, such as equal opportunity officers, Title VI liaisons, Title VI compliance officers, Title VI coordinators, agency heads, legal counsel, and contracting and procurement personnel. Also, management and equal opportunity professionals for private companies and other organizations that contract with state and local governments to operate federally-assisted programs and activities will find this webcast extremely useful. Whether you receive funding directly from a federal agency, or indirectly through a state or local agency, the federal civil rights requirements discussed in the webcast apply to you.

Once you have completed this webcast and understand the requirements of the federal civil rights laws that apply to your programs, and if you are responsible for conducting discrimination complaint investigations in these programs, we recommend that you take our course titled, “Discrimination Complaint Investigations under the Workforce Investment Act: Proper Process and Technique.” The sound investigative processes and techniques discussed in this webcast are easily applied to discrimination complaint investigations conducted in any federally-assisted program or activity.

OFCCP: Announcing New York Town Halls on April 9 and 10, 2019

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Town Halls: OFCCP Wants to Help

Ensuring federal contractors have the free tools and resources needed to comply with their equal opportunity obligations is critically important. In order to continue to enhance the scope and quality of OFCCP’s compliance assistance materials we have been holding town hall events to enhance our understanding of what is important to our stakeholders.

Most recently we held two successful town halls for the tech industry and gained valuable feedback and ideas from the participants. OFCCP is looking to build on the success of the town halls that were primarily focused on the tech industry with two more town halls in New York. The first New York town hall will be focused on the financial industry and related fields and the second New York town hall will be focused on the legal industry and related fields.

The town halls will be held in New York, New York. The financial industry town hall will be held on April 9, 2019 and the legal industry town hall will be held on April 10, 2019.

You can attend a town hall by registering through OFCCP’s website.

The meetings are open to the public but will be of particular interest to human resource managers, equal employment opportunity specialists, chief compliance officers, and other personnel in the legal and financial industries who are directly involved with ensuring their company’s compliance with OFCCP’s requirements. Workers, jobseekers, community groups and anyone interested in OFCCP and our work are also encouraged to attend. Please note only two tickets are available per organization on a first come, first served basis.

STANLEY BLACK & DECKER WILL PAY $140,000 TO SETTLE EEOC DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION SUIT (MAR. 2019)

Monday, March 11th, 2019

Tool Manufacturer Fired Employee Who Needed Leave for Medical Treatment, Federal Agency Charged

BALTIMORE – Stanley Black & Decker Inc., a global diversified industrial company, will pay $140,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Stanley Black & Decker fired an inside sales representative, who had exceeded her sales goals and quotas, at its Towson, Md., facility in December 2016 for poor attend­ance. The EEOC charged that the termination violated federal law because the employee had requested unpaid leave for medical appointments and treatment related to her cancer, but the company failed to provide the requested leave as a reasonable accommodation of her disability. Moreover, the company’s inside sales attendance policy did not provide exceptions for people who need leave as an accommodation to their disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits workplace discrimination based on disability. The ADA requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities, unless it would pose an undue hardship. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-02525) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $140,000 in monetary relief to the employee, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit provides substantial equitable relief, including enjoining Stanley Black & Decker from denying reasonable accommodations or violating the ADA in the future. The company will update its inside sales attendance policy to provide for reasonable accommodations. Stanley Black & Decker will provide annual training at its Towson facility to inside sales managers, supervisors and human resources personnel on the ADA and its reasonable accommodation requirements. The company will report to the EEOC on how it handled any requests for reasonable accommodations and internal complaints of dis­crimination within its inside sales group. Stanley Black & Decker will post a notice about the settlement and post notices required by EEOC regulations. It will also provide a positive reference for the employee.

“We encourage employers to review their policies and procedures, including attendance policies, to ensure they provide for reasonable accommodations and equal employment opportunities for individ­uals with disabilities,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie R. Williamson.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “In addition to the monetary relief, the settlement provides important equitable relief to protect workers from disability discrimination. We commend Stanley Black & Decker for resolving this matter amicably and before incurring unnecessary litigation expenses.”

Addressing emerging and developing areas of law, including inflexible leave policies that dis­criminate against individuals with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan.

The EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

OFCCP Launches Section 503 Landing Page (Mar. 2019)

Friday, March 8th, 2019

OFCCP is dedicated to promoting inclusive and equitable workplaces. We recognize that this is a team effort, which is why we’re committed to strengthening the partnership between OFCCP and the federal contractors we assist.

That is why we are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Section 503 Focused Review Landing Page. The landing page is intended to provide contractors with helpful information and assistance in implementing best practices and increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities.

So what does this mean for you? OFCCP’s new Section 503 landing page will serve as a resource center for contractors. You can find disability inclusion best practices, documents explaining what to expect during a Focused Review, and important OFCCP contact information.

You can learn more about Focused Reviews by reviewing Directive 2018-04, which established focused reviews under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA.

Click Here to Visit OFCCP’s Section 503 Landing Page!

Fair Housing News | Disabilities and Refusal to Remediate Mold (Mar. 8, 2019)

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Dear Colleague,

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the approval of a Conciliation Agreement with Highland Downs Apartments in Duarte, CA. The agreement resolves allegations that Downs, LLC and EMNA Management, Inc., the owner and manager of the development, refused to remediate mold at the property as a reasonable accommodation for a couple with disabilities and retaliated against them for asking that the mold be removed. Read the agreement.

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on disability. This includes refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, services or facilities related to housing.

“Reasonable accommodation requests aren’t requests for special treatment. They are what many individuals with disabilities need to live in the place they call home,” said Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Hopefully, today’s settlement will help housing providers to better understand their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act and take steps to meet them.”

The case came to HUD’s attention when a couple with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that the owner and management company for their apartment building refused to remove mold that was present in the building, as the couple had requested. The couple also alleged that the owners retaliated against them for making the reasonable accommodation request by increasing their rent and issuing the couple a termination of lease notice. The residents moved out after receiving the notice.

Under the terms of the agreement, the owner and property manager will pay the couple $6,000, require their employees to take fair housing training, and adopt a fair housing policy that includes reasonable accommodation guidance, which will be distributed to all leasing and management staff and property tenants.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).

Fair Housing News | Tenants with Emotional Support Animals (Mar. 2019)

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Dear Colleague,

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced the approval of a Conciliation Agreement with a landlord and agent in San Francisco, CA, resolving allegations that they refused to rent to a tenant with disabilities because he had an emotional support animal. Read the agreement.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers from denying housing to persons with disabilities and from refusing to make reasonable accommodations in policies or practices, which includes denying assistance animal requests.

“Assistance animals provide persons with disabilities with the support they need to not only enjoy their home, but to function in life,” said Anna María Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “Today’s agreement reflects HUD’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that housing providers abide by our nation’s fair housing laws.”

The case came to HUD’s attention when an individual with disabilities filed a complaint alleging that he was denied the opportunity to rent an apartment because he had an emotional support animal. HUD’s investigation found the landlord and agent were explicitly informed that the prospective tenant’s animal is prescribed by a doctor and allowed under fair housing laws, but they still refused to consider his tenancy because of the animal.

Under the terms of the agreement, the owner will pay the complainant $9,000 and both respondents will attend fair housing training.

Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 927-9275 (TTY).