Thirty days – calendar days – is a very short time to get a submission together for OFCCP, but it's not the time to cut corners. One of the most effective ways to avoid a protracted review is to ensure that the data you submit is comprehensive, accurate, and is internally consistent. You do not want to be correcting data after it has already been sent to OFCCP, as OFCCP tends to presume that corrected data is submitted to hide a problem discovered after the "real" data was received.
Ensure Comprehensive Data
First, ensure that your data includes everything you need for analysis. Review your original data used to complete the Affirmative Action Plan. There are several questions you need to consider:
Internal consistency is critical. Ensure that employees in one data set have the same descriptive information on all other data sets.
Start with the Beginning of Year (BOY) data, add the hires, take out the terms, and see if it matches the End of Year (EOY) data. Verify the following:
Ensure that the hire and applicant data is internally consistent, too. Verify that all hires are on the applicant list, and all applicants are included for all hires that started during the data year (the year of data used for analysis). This sounds obvious, but many contractors pull their applicant data based on the data year. For a calendar year AAP, hires who begin employment in January will likely have applicants associated with that position who applied the previous calendar year. Likewise, there will be many people who applied during the data year whose ultimate selection(s) began the following data year.
Finally, be sure to annotate your anomalies in your initial submission. If you have one employee whose position was eliminated, and they are now paid considerably more than their current counterparts, make a note of that when you submit your compensation the first time. If the anomalies in your data are not explained when you submit your data, OFCCP will likely ask for a broader range of data than if the anomalies had been explained. Further, it puts you, the contractor, in a defensive position very early in the process.
"Getting it Right the First Time" is a strategy that may involve an additional investment of time and resources on the front end, but the savings on the back end are exponential. If you help OFCCP understand your data, they will have fewer questions, and consequently fewer additional data requests. This will also reduce the possibility of an on-site investigation and keep the length of the audit to a minimum.
For more information on how to reduce exposure in OFCCP audits, please contact Marilynn Schuyler at Schuyler@SchuylerAAP.com.
Please note: nothing in this article is intended as legal advice or as a substitute for any professional advice about your organization's particular circumstances. All original materials copyright © Schuyler Affirmative Action Practice.