OFCCP Wins Record Number Of Financial Remedies

Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) – In fiscal year (FY) 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) won a record $67,510,982 in back pay, salary and benefits for an unprecedented 24,508 American workers who had been subjected to unlawful employment discrimination.

Ninety-nine percent of dollars were collected in cases of systemic discrimination — those involving a significant number of workers or applicants subjected to discrimination because of an unlawful employment practice or policy. The more than $67.5 million reflects a 133 percent increase over financial remedies obtained in FY 2001.

The last eight years of OFCCP enforcement data show a 14 percent increase in the total number of compliance reviews completed versus a similar period in the prior administration. More importantly, OFCCP's more strategic approach resulted in a 92 percent increase in the number of job applicants and employees (113,630) who financially benefited from OFCCP investigations and over $50 million in additional back pay salary and benefits versus the prior administration.

"We are proud of these results which demonstrate our commitment to enforcing the law," said Charles James, deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. "This is our fourth consecutive record-breaking year in the categories of workers helped and amounts recovered. Of all the changes of these eight years, the focus on systemic discrimination is by far the most significant for the mission of the agency."

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended. These laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment based on race, gender, color, religion, national origin, disability or covered veteran status.

Effective Initiatives

OFCCP's initiatives of the last several years have made it a more effective and efficient civil rights enforcement agency. Compared with years past, OFCCP now more quickly and accurately screens contractor establishments for indicators of potential discrimination with its Active Case Management (ACM) system. Under ACM, which was fully implemented in each of OFCCP's regions in FY 2005, the agency opens more reviews than it did in the past, and the agency uses automated statistical tools to rank and prioritize establishments for further review based on the probability that discrimination would be uncovered during a full-scale review.

OFCCP is using ACM to identify and resolve cases of systemic discrimination with greater frequency. OFCCP is monitoring a larger portion of the federal contractor universe than it has in the past, and it is prioritizing its resources to address the worst offenders.

Since its inception, OFCCP has generally relied on contractor voluntary self-identification to determine companies over which OFCCP has jurisdiction. In FY 2005, OFCCP implemented the Contracts First project to produce a contractor selection list that is based on evidence of actual contracts. This initiative inserts information about contract awards into the database used for selection and scheduling of reviews at facilities. Additionally, the selection system is enhanced by access to an OFCCP database of facilities where no compliance reviews have been conducted in recent years.

Compliance Assistance Works

OFCCP also has continued to build upon its comprehensive compliance assistance program, conducting about one thousand compliance assistance events in each of the last five years. Compliance assistance outreach helps employers prevent unlawful discrimination in their workplaces by providing them with the information necessary to effectively monitor their workplaces for equal employment opportunity.

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