March 25, 2019

March 25, 2019

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OFCCP CSALs Are Just Around the Corner, Including Section 503 Focused Reviews

With the posting of 2019 CSAL notices possibly imminent, government contractors should prepare for the fact that a portion (approximately 500 out of 3,500 total) of the OFCCP’s FY 2019 compliance evaluations will be Section 503 focused reviews.  Attached is the scheduling letter that will be used for OFCCP’s focused reviews.

Unlike the typical OFCCP audit, a focused review will audit contractor’s compliance with the protections for individuals with disabilities under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Because Section 503 compliance has not been the focus of many of OFCCP’s recent compliance audits, it is important that contractors should proactively self-audit to ensure they are in compliance with all of the various requirements of Section 503.

 If a contractor receives a Section 503 focused review scheduling letter, it will have 30 days to collect and provide OFCCP with an array of information about its Section 503 compliance efforts.  In order to effectively respond to and avoid violations, covered government contractors should review their Section 503 compliance to ensure they have the following for their current affirmative action plan year:

  •  A current Section 503 affirmative action plan for individuals with disabilities.

  • An assessment of outreach and recruitment efforts for qualified individuals with disabilities.  This assessment is typically prepared separate from the contractor’s affirmative action plan and some vendors and firms do not include this assessment with the Section 503 affirmative action plans they prepare.

  • The actions taken to audit and measure the effectiveness of the contractor’s Section 503 affirmative action plan.  Like the assessment of outreach and recruitment, this usually is separate from the affirmative action plan and may not have been prepared by your vendor or firm.

  • The statistical data collected and retained by the contractor for the total number of job openings and jobs filled, the total number of applicants hired, the total number of applicants with disabilities hired, and the total number of applicants who identify as individuals with disabilities. 

  • The contractor’s utilization analysis, evaluating the representation of individuals with disabilities across its job groups or workforce.

  • The contractor’s reasonable accommodation policies and documentation of any accommodation requests received and how the requests were resolved.

  • The contractor’s assessment of its personnel processes and use of physical and mental qualifications.

Also, contractors should be prepared to demonstrate, through a walkthrough, that its facilities comply with federal accessibility requirements.

 

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California

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About this Author

Erin Schilling, employment, attorney, Polsinelli law firm
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Erin Schilling provides advice, counsel, and peace of mind so that employers can focus on what they do best – operating their businesses.

She draws on prior experience in the human resources field to provide training and advice to employers on compliance with various state and federal statutes, including Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act, affirmative action laws, and, in particular, leave issues concerning the Family Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

In addition, Erin oversees the...

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Associate

Jack Blum is an associate in the firm’s Employment Disputes, Litigation, and Arbitration practice, where he represents employers in connection with a wide range of employment law issues. Jack has extensive experience in defending employers against claims by their employees in federal and state courts, as well as before government agencies like the EEOC, Department of Labor, and state human rights commissions. Jack aggressively defends his client’s personnel practices and decisions while not losing sight of their underlying business goals and objectives. Jack represents clients in all aspects of complex employment litigation and has advised and defended employer clients regarding a wide variety of employee claims, including:

• Employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
• Wage and hour
• Employment contract disputes
• Independent contractor/employee misclassification audits 
• Tort claims arising out of the employment relationship

Jack also has extensive experience representing parties in litigation arising from employee mobility, including claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements as well as the misappropriation of trade secrets. Significantly, Jack has experience in both prosecuting and defending these claims and is, therefore, able to offer clients a well-rounded assessment of their options and courses of action. Jack also has experience redressing employee data breaches under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Jack also has a background in employment counseling, where he has worked closely with in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and business executives to craft personnel policies that meet the client’s business requirements while complying with applicable laws. Jack has particular experience in assisting clients with issues relating to employee/independent contractor classifications, and regularly advises clients regarding the defensibility of classifications, drafts independent contractor agreements to provide the strongest possible arguments in support of the classification, and defends misclassification claims asserted by employees and government agencies. Jack also walks clients through sensitive personnel actions to reduce the potential for litigation or at least best position the client in the event that litigation is inevitable. Jack draws heavily upon this counseling experience in representing clients in litigation.

During law school, Jack served as a legal intern in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Inspector General where he contributed to several high-profile internal investigations, and also interned with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

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