Employers received a harsh reminder of the importance of consistent recruitment practices and record-keeping policies when an administrative law judge approved a consent decree requiring Goodyear Tire & Rubber to pay $925,000 in back wages to 800 female job applicants who alleged hiring discrimination. Solid data collection practices during the hiring process can ensure compliance with federal regulations and help track recruiting results. By Fay Hansen
Employers received a harsh reminder of the importance of consistent recruitment practices and record-keeping policies in January when an administrative law judge approved a consent decree requiring Goodyear Tire & Rubber to pay $925,000 in back wages to 800 female job applicants who alleged hiring discrimination at a Goodyear plant in Virginia. Goodyear also agreed to hire 60 of the women, conduct annual training for plant managers and provide semiannual reports to document compliance.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs filed the complaint against Goodyear in June 2006. The OFCCP completed nearly 4,000 compliance evaluations in 2006 and recovered $51.5 million for workers subjected to unlawful discrimination, an increase of 14 percent from 2005 and a 78 percent increase compared with 2001.
This significant jump in monitoring and enforcement activity was fueled in part by the OFCCP’s new active case management system, which uses statistical tools to prioritize reviews of recruiting and employment practices at companies with federal contracts. The OFCCP is reviewing a much larger portion of the federal contractor universe than it has in the past.
In addition to increased monitoring from the OFCCP for federal contractors, recruitment-related record-keeping requirements for all companies may fall under scrutiny from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when applicants allege discrimination.
As recruiters face greater time-to-fill pressures and employers increase Internet and recruitment agency sourcing, the risks arising from poor record-keeping practices grows. At the same time, careful record keeping throughout the recruitment process can produce valuable data that helps move employers beyond compliance and into the realm of better business intelligence.
Clarity and consistency "It’s important to have the right process for gathering applications," cautions W. Christopher Arbery, a partner specializing in employment law in the Atlanta office of Hunton & Williams. "Employers must correct any lack of clarity stemming from multiple methods for applicants to express interest."
Legal experts agree that one of the largest record-keeping risks arises when employers assume that they are not responsible for records on applicants that the recruiting agencies screen out. "In addition, employers need to ensure that their recruiters and the agencies they use are gathering the right information, whether they are using a separate tear-off or form or a set of fields for applicants to self-identify," Arbery notes.
Employers must carefully review the record-keeping practices of any recruiting agencies employed. [To read the entire article, go to: http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/24/76/39/index.php]