Thursday, January 17, 2019

OFCCP Updates on CSAL

The Michigan Industry Liaison Group provided the following OFCCP updates in its January meeting: 
  • Employers should not expect new Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (“CSAL”) to be mailed until mid-February-March this year. This timeframe would put Scheduling Letters out around the beginning of April 2019.
    • Note: The new batch of Scheduling Letters do NOT put an end to prior Scheduling Letters. Employers who previously received a CSAL should still prepare for and expect a Compliance Review per that earlier CSAL.
  • OFCCP plans to accomplish 500 Focused Reviews to start this summer. Catch up on the announcement of Focused Reviews here, and the corresponding Directive here.
  • Reviews will cover Section 503 (Individuals with Disabilities) only, yet are said to include a compensation review.
  • Reviews will happen at corporate headquarters. Make sure your CEO is on board and up to speed on your Affirmative Action Program and initiatives.
  • Document requests in the audit Scheduling Letter will be similar to #7- #14 of the current Itemized Listing and will include a focus on ADA policies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Government Shutdown Continues

Although the partial shutdown of the United States Government is now entering its fourth week, many agencies are still funded and operational. Other have partial funding and continue to offer vital services as permitted by funding. Departments lacking funds include the Department of Homeland Security, Treasury and Justice to name a few.

The U.S. Department of Labor offices remain open and unaffected by the partial shutdown due to funding already received. This means that the Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is fully functional at this time, audits currently underway will continue to be reviewed and issuance of scheduling letters may continue.

Unlike the OFCCP, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) only has limited availability and such is posted on their homepage. All digital portals are closed and the agency is unable to staff their hotlines. There are no references to the shutdown on the EEO-1 Reporting page, so it is uncertain at this time how or if the government shutdown will affect the processing of 2018 EEO-1 Reports due March 31, 2019.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to list E-Verify on their website as expired or suspended until funds are received or reauthorization is provided by Congress. E-Verify is a free internet-based system that allows businesses and employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. While the system is down, employers must still complete a Form I-9 to verify an employee's work authorization within 3 days of beginning work as new submissions or cases cannot be initiated at this time.

Other programs offered by USCIS that continue to be unavailable are the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, Non-Minister Religious Workers and Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 Medical Doctors.

Source: DOL; USCIS; Department of Homeland Security; EEOC

2019 Minimum Wage Update

Beginning this month, minimum wages are increasing across the nation. Forty-three (43) states and municipalities are adjusting base wages in 2019 according to a blog post on minimumwage.com. The post includes a list showing 2018 wage rates as well as those planned to take effect in 2019.

It is said that the planned increases could create an extra $5.4 billion in pay over the course of the year even though some increases won't takes effect right away. In Oregon and Washington DC, their increases go into effect on July 1st. Employment Policies Institute's Minimum Wage Tracker is available to review state by state changes as well as the Consolidated Minimum Wage Table available on the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division's website.

In addition to state and local government increases to minimum wages, the Department of Labor has set the 2019 minimum wage for contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 at $10.60 per hour. The minimum wage for covered tipped workers will stay at $7.40 per the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division's annual update.

Source: DOL Wage and Hour Division; Wolters Kluwer