We’re midway through the second day of the SWARM ILG Regional Conference and it’s been a great day so far – with a number of top-notch speakers and a ton of OFCCP and affirmative action information being exchanged.

During lunch conference attendees had the pleasure of hearing from Robert Beal and Francesca Cheroutes from the US Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor.  In addition to discussing the Solicitor’s Office focus (along with OFCCPs) on compensation and pay equity, Robert and Francesca updated the group on the SOL’s recent enforcement cases and shared best practices for a “successful” experience with the SWARM Region.

Continuing on themes repeated earlier in the conference, Robert highlighted the department’s focus on “steering” in pay cases.  Notably Robert shared that people should be paid

 “based on their merit and performance” not based on “who they know or their race or gender.”

Following Francesca’s discussion of recent litigations involving federal contractors in which she discussed the “lessons learned” from some of the top cases decided last year, Robert listed a number of “rules” to following when involved in a compliance review in the SWARM Region.  The list included the following notable takeaways:

  • Cooperate with the government and their requests so you don’t find yourself in a “denial of access” situation
  • Keep Records per your obligations – “just because you haven’t heard from us in a year doesn’t mean the review is over – it’s only over when you hear from OFCCP that its over”
  • Do proactive self-analyses
  • “Conciliate, Conciliate, Conciliate” and take advantage of the opportunity to tell OFCCP “why their conclusions are wrong”

This afternoon Regional Director Melissa Speer will address the conference to provide the group with the Agency’s perspective on implementation of the new Veterans and Disability regulations.  We will make sure to bring you any new and noteworthy details or tips that she shares.