With all of this in mind, what are the challenges that we face in making equal employment opportunity a reality? Here is what OFCCP is doing to address some of these issues.
OFCCP is working on pay equity issues. As a member of the White House Task Force on Pay Equity, the Department of Labor—and specifically OFCCP— is playing a leading role on this issue with our partners at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel Management. The goal is pay equity, and the federal government is holding itself accountable as well. OPM is examining how it will further reduce the wage disparity between male and female employees working for the federal government.
OFCCP will rescind the 2006 Guidance and will issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit your ideas and views about the new wage data collection instrument.
EEOC and OFCCP have embarked on a new path of partnership and leadership that will help to guide the civil rights agenda for this country. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with my dear colleague, Jackie Berrien, the Chair of the EEOC, who is also here today. She is deeply committed to the well-being of workers, and we share a philosophical belief in the importance of work to each individual. Our work together on implementing the White House Pay Equity Initiative affords our respective agencies the unique opportunity to work in concert on these and so many of the other pressing issues that workers face. I look forward to working closely with her and my other colleagues at the EEOC and the Department of Justice.
Just a few weeks ago, OFCCP issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit your ideas and views about the following topics:
– Employment practices that have been effective in recruiting, hiring, advancing and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities;
– The availability of data that could be used to establish hiring goals and conduct utilization analyses of individuals with disabilities; and
– How linkage agreements between Federal contractors and organizations that focus on the employment of qualified individuals with disabilities can be strengthened to increase effectiveness.
Yesterday, I spoke with many of you about OFCCP’s full regulatory agenda, and many of you know about our efforts to strengthen affirmative action for protected veterans, and for women and minorities in the construction industry.
With respect to enforcement, OFCCP is working to transform its enforcement procedures to be more effective, more efficient, and more pro-active. OFCCP staff across the country is stepping up their investigations and audits, ensuring accuracy, thoroughness and quality outcomes. Excellence is the standard.
Speaking of enforcement, and in particular OFCCP’s Functional Affirmative Action Program, I would like to make a request. All of you can help me, if you would. Mr. Jim Pierce, OFCCP Deputy Director of Operations, will be leading a discussion on OFCCP’s FAAP program. I am examining whether this program should continue, and if so in what form. Please use this time with Jim to share your views on how the FAAP works in your company, why it promotes affirmative action, how it promotes affirmative action, how you measure results, how you know your results are accurate, what steps you take to adapt your AAP when necessary, and how you know when it is necessary to do so. Your willingness to share your views today, and most importantly the details of these questions, will go a long way in my exploration and consideration of this important program.