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Sunday, March 17, 2013

EEO Laws - Executive Orders


Some companies may provide programs to support diversity through Affirmative Action.  These programs are not necessarily voluntary, as the Federal Government has established rules for this under Executive Orders that are treated as Equal Employment Opportunity laws.  As always, please feel free to leave a respectful comment or opinion about your own experiences in the area below this post.

EEO Laws - Executive Orders

The final set of EEO laws that we will look at together at this time are the Executive Orders Covering Government Contractors and Sex Discrimination Guidelines.  The actual codification is covered by Executive Order 11,246 as amended by Executive Orders 11,375 and 12,086.  It would be good to be acquainted with this set of executive orders.  Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Federal Contractors and Subcontractors were barred from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin; and employers were required to document infractions if discrimination was discovered.  However, there was nothing in the law that required companies to furnish those documents to the government for investigations.  Executive Orders 11246 changed that by compelling companies to provide their documentation proof to investigators upon request.  This is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Affirmative Action

Additionally, Executive Order 11,246 established provision for Affirmative Action programs.  Government Contractors and Subcontractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000+ in government contracts are required to have an established, written affirmative action program.  President Lyndon B. Johnson said this as a driving force behind this policy:

“Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.”

 With Executive Order 11246, covered employers were required to identify, analyze, and rectify differences in workforce participation by women and minorities.  Companies were required to expand efforts in outreach, recruitment, and training in an effort to make the selection process more favorable to the previously discriminated groups.

Compliance

Companies that fall under the umbrella of the Executive Orders are subject to reviews and audits by the OFCCP.  Failure of a review could result in corrective action as recommended by the OFCCP.  Individual complaints would typically be referred to the EEOC.  Complaints may be filed by groups where a pattern is established would be reviewed and resolved by the OFCCP. 

The process and forms employees or applicants may use to file a complaint can be found here:  http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/pdf/pdfstart.htm

Groups must file their complaint with 180 days of the discriminatory infraction.  Corrective actions recommended for these infractions could include payments of back pay, job offers, training programs, promotions, etc.  Finally, employers failing to follow guidelines and recommendations of the OFCCP may have their Federal contracts stripped. 

Also, to remain compliant, Employers covered under these Executive Orders must make it known that applicants for positions will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin; and that the company prohibits discrimination under these bases.

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals: Be Human... Be a Resource... Be a Resource for Humans.

  
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes. Do not take what I am writing as advice. Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions. The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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