Monday, April 22, 2013

Updated I-9 Form must be in use by all employers on or before May 7, 2013

Sills Cummis & Gross PC
  • USA
  • April 16 2013
    On or before May 7, 2013, Employers must use the new I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“Form I-9”) to comply with employment eligibility verification responsibilities for all new hires.
    The new Form I-9 was released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) on March 8, 2013. The new form is available for immediate use, though the USCIS has established a 60-day transition period from the date of publication to ease the burden of implementation on employers. During that transition period, employers will be able to use either prior versions or the new updated Form I-9.

    Full Story:

    House Appropriations hearing examines DOL budget

    Littler Mendelson
  • USA
  • April 16 2013
    During an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing held to analyze the Department of Labor’s budget request for fiscal year 2014, Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris discussed several agency initiatives and programs that would benefit from the $12.1 billion in discretionary funding. President Obama released his FY 2014 Budget Proposal last Wednesday. The DOL’s portion of the budget would fund, among other activities, enforcement of whistleblower protections and worker misclassification programs, rulemaking, and internal evaluation efforts, said Harris.

    Who's the boss?

    Jackson Lewis LLP
  • USA
  • April 17 2013
    Fifteen years after the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers can be held strictly liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for harassment or discrimination by their supervisors, the Court is prepared to answer the question: “who is a supervisor?” The Court will decide the question when it rules on Vance v. Ball State University, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 23 (U.S. 2012), which was argued on November 26, 2012.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Is Affirmative Action still needed?

    Iowa State Daily
    By Thaddeus Mast,
    Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 8:34 pm, Tue Apr 9, 2013.

    Affirmative Action is a policy that attempts to incorporate people who have traditionally been discriminated against into the workplace or school systems.  
    A Supreme Court case will be deciding if affirmative action is still relevant later this year. 

    Supreme Court tackles affirmative action

    Technician Online
    Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:54 pm
    The Supreme Court recently announced the addition of Schuette v. Coalition to its growing list of affirmative action cases.
    Schuette v. Coalition developed in response to a Michigan state law prohibiting the inclusion of race as a factor in the college admissions process, The New York Times stated.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati deemed the law unconstitutional due to its incompliance with the equal protection clause. The Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold or reject the ruling.

    D.C. District Court affirms OFCCP’s expanding jurisdiction over the health care industry

    Wiley Rein LLP
  • USA
  •    April 9 2013
    On March 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed an Administrative Review Board (ARB) decision finding that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) had jurisdiction over certain health care providers as government subcontractors.  UPMC Braddock et al., v. Harris, No. 1:09-cv-01210 (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2013). 
    The plaintiff hospitals (hospitals), affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), had contracted with the UPMC Health Plan (Health Plan) to provide medical services to individuals covered under the Health Plan.  Following the initial agreement, the Health Plan contracted in 2000 with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to provide health maintenance organization (HMO) services to certain federal employees covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).  The hospitals continued to renew their UPMC Health Plan contract after the OPM contract took effect.

    Full Story:

    Affirmative action and the white middle class

    The University of York's Student Newspaper
    Income clauses in bursaries or internships may lead to some of the best candidates being turned away, but ultimately a more dynamic industry will emerge

    By , Muse Editor

    United States: Hospitals Providing Medical Care To Federal Employees Covered by HMOs May Be Subject To OFCCP’s Affirmative Action And Other Requirements

    Article by Debra S. Friedman
    15 April 2013

    Over the years, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which enforces affirmative action and equal opportunity regulations for federal contractors and subcontractors, has tried to assert jurisdiction over hospitals that provide medical care to federal employees in various controversial ways. For example, OFCCP has claimed hospitals are federal subcontractors when they provide medical services to Blue Cross/Blue Shield and/or HMO policyholders pursuant to the insurance providers’ agreements with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia just gave the green light to OFCCP to assert its jurisdiction over hospitals, at least where HMOs covering federal employees are involved.

    Full Story:

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Supreme Court Takes New Case on Affirmative Action, From Michigan

    The New York Times

    Full Story:

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Breaking News! San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Will Keynote at AAAA Conference

    May 7th-10th

    San Antonio, TX
    If you have trouble reading this email, go to the online version.
    AAAA 39th Annual
ConferenceMayor CastroDiversity on Trialbook hotelREGISTER

    Breaking News!

    San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro will deliver a welcoming address Wednesday morning at the AAAA 39th Annual Conference

    Mayor Castro has made history as the first Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention and is considered a rising star among the Democratic Party. His support of Affirmative Action is well documented, and he credits it with much of his success.
    “I’m a strong supporter of Affirmative Action
    because I’ve seen it work in my own life.”
    – Julian Castro, San Antonio Mayor

    Book Now and Save!

    Reserve your hotel by THIS MONDAY, April 15
    Receive our Group Discount rate of $169/night at the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel when you book this week.

    Conference registration cutoff is Friday, April 19
    Rates will increase by $75 for late reigstrations received after this date.


    Conference presented by the
    American Association for Affirmative Action

    Affirmative action remains crucial

    Daily Trojan
    By Matthew Tinoco · Daily Trojan
    Posted Yesterday at 4:15 pm in Columns, Featured, Opinion
    High school senior Suzy Lee Weiss recently hit the national spotlight after writing a controversial letter to the Wall Street Journal titled “To (All) the Colleges that Rejected Me.
    Juno Zhu | Daily Trojan
    Juno Zhu | Daily Trojan
    In it, Weiss, who is Caucasian, mentions that one of the reasons for her rejection from an elite undergraduate institution is her lack of “diversity.”

    Full Story:

    Kinsley: Overthinking affirmative action

    Los Angeles Times
    Would a minority student admitted under race preferences at Harvard University's law school be better off at Ohio State's? Not likely.

    By Michael Kinsley
    November 1, 2012
    Stuart Taylor Jr. was in my law school class. Or, more accurately, I was in his law school class, since he graduated at the top of the class and I graduated.

    Full Story:,0,5370474.story

    Affirmative action and the law

    Los Angeles Times Editorial
    Does the Constitution bar voters from doing away with racial preferences? We don't think so.

    November 30, 2012
    As the Supreme Court mulls whether the U.S. Constitution prohibits state universities from taking race into account in admissions decisions, a federal appeals court has moved in a very different direction. It recently held that, far from forbidding affirmative action, the Constitution prevents a state's voters from doing away with it.

    Full Story:,0,4682704.story

    A hint that affirmative action may survive

    Los Angeles Times

    April 8, 2013, 1:48 p.m.
    All but eclipsed by the speculation about how the Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage is the fact that the court will also hand down a decision in the next few months about the constitutionality of affirmative action at state universities. But even if the court rules that the University of Texas went too far in seeking to assemble a racially diverse class, that may not mean the end of racial preferences.

    Labor Department sues US Security Associates for refusing to comply with federal investigation of employment practices

    News Release

    OFCCP News Release: [01/17/2013]
    Contact Name: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
    Phone Number: (312) 353-6976
    Release Number: 13-0030-CHI

    Labor Department sues US Security Associates for refusing to comply with federal investigation of employment practices

    Complaint asks court to bar security company from government contracting
    CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Labor has filed lawsuits to require Roswell, Ga.-based U.S. Security Associates Inc. — which provides uniformed and trained guards and other emergency responders under federal contract — to submit documents detailing the company's affirmative action plans for its own facilities in Milwaukee, Wis., and Portage, Ind.
    The Labor Department's suits, filed with its Office of Administrative Law Judges, calls for the company to provide the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with all documents and information requested, cooperate with scheduled compliance reviews and fully comply with the requirements of all laws enforced by the agency. If the company fails to comply, the department asks the court to cancel all of USA's current government contracts and to debar the entire company from entering into future contracts.
    "Providing OFCCP investigators with access to the documents they need in order to do their jobs is not optional," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "U.S. Security Associates is well aware of its contractual obligation to submit the records we seek, and the company's denial of access at these two facilities is especially perplexing given its cooperation in providing the same documentation in past compliance reviews."
    OFCCP sent a scheduling letter to the company's Milwaukee facility on Dec. 7, 2011, and its Portage facility on Dec. 13, 2011, requesting records that are required for a compliance review. Instead of submitting its affirmative action plans, as required by law, USA filed a complaint with the Office of Administrative Law Judges on June 21, 2012, seeking declaratory relief from the scheduled reviews. On Sep. 17, 2012, Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen Purcell dismissed the company's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. USA appealed the decision to the Administrative Review Board, and the matter is currently pending. Over the following months, OFCCP continued to request that the company submit its plans but, to date, the contractor has refused.
    The named facilities are two of more than 20 USA sites that currently have open OFCCP compliance evaluations. Efforts to resolve the issue between the two parties failed when USA decided to deny OFCCP access to information about its affirmative action programs in Milwaukee and Portage. The issue of providing OFCCP with access to such information has been affirmed by the courts numerous times. In November 2011, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled, in a similar case, that "Submission to such lawful investigations is the price of working as a federal contractor."
    Since at least 2008, USA has been a party to federal contracts that obligate it to develop and maintain plans for its affirmative action programs and provide those plans to OFCCP upon request. In July 2009, USA was awarded a contract with the General Services Administration worth more than $1 million. The company also was awarded a federal contract with the U.S. State Department for more than $7 million covering a period from September 2010 through October 2015.
    OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.
    OFCCP v. U.S. Security Associates Inc.
    Case Number: 2013-OFC-00002 (Milwaukee)
    Case Number: 2013-OFC-00003 (Portage, Ind.)

    OFCCP Rescinds Restrictions on Investigating Pay Discrimination

    U.S. Department of Labor

    The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program has rescinded two enforcement guidance documents on pay discrimination originally issued in 2006, commonly known as the "Compensation Standards" and "Voluntary Guidelines." This action, to be effective Feb. 28, is intended to protect workers and strengthen OFCCP's ability to identify and remedy different forms of pay discrimination. It will enable OFCCP to conduct investigations of contractor pay practices consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    In addition, OFCCP has introduced new guidance setting forth the procedures, analysis and protocols OFCCP will utilize going forward when conducting compensation discrimination investigations. The new approach enables OFCCP investigators to better examine practices and available evidence to uncover discrimination and evaluate contractor compliance with Executive Order 11246.
    "A strong American middle class hinges on ensuring equal pay," said Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris. "As President Obama has made clear, everyone – including the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters among us – must be paid fairly and without discrimination. These new standards will strengthen our ability to ensure that women and men are fully protected under our nation's laws."
    "Today, we are lifting arbitrary barriers that have prevented our investigators from finding and combating illegal pay discrimination," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu, a member of the President's National Equal Pay Task Force. "At the same time, we are providing clear guidance for contractors to facilitate their success when it comes to providing equal opportunity to all of their workers."
    Visit our Resource Page here for more information, including copies of the Rescission Notice, new Policy Directive 307, Frequently Asked Questions and other materials.

    Improving and Measuring Quality of EEOC Investigations Focus of Commission Meeting

    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    PRESS RELEASE 3-21-13

    EEOC Hears from Front Line Staff, Managers and Stakeholders
    WASHINGTON- On Wednesday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting to develop the agency's Quality Control Plan (QCP). Development of the QCP was called for in the EEOC's 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. The plan will revise the criteria used to measure the quality of agency charge investigations and conciliations throughout the nation. Three roundtables-made up of EEOC front line staff, private employer and employee representatives, and EEOC managers-presented their views to Commission and the chairs of the work group appointed to develop a draft plan for Commission approval.
    All participants underscored the importance of meaningful measurements that gauge more than procedural quality, but also substantive and analytical quality that advances EEOC's core mission to stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination. Participants also agreed that the quality control plan must take into account the limited budgetary and staffing resources available to the EEOC during these tight fiscal times for the federal government and the nation. Moreover, each roundtable noted the critical importance of quality intake - the initial interaction between the charging party and the EEOC and the first step in the investigative process.
    Private practitioners further urged the Commission to ensure that investigative and conciliation procedures, including whether to make certain disclosures, be applied consistently throughout the agency in every district and field office. However, EEOC staff counseled that while consistency is important, it must be balanced against the need for flexibility in the field, taking into account office resources, investigator case-load, and the specific needs of each investigation.
    "Ensuring quality investigations and conciliations that advance enforcement, providing excellent customer service, and implementing internal efficiency are the cornerstones of the agency's new Strategic Plan," said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien. "We will therefore carefully consider the recommendations of our staff and external stakeholders on how to strengthen and improve EEOC's administrative enforcement program. As always, I continue to be proud of the efforts and skill of the agency's field staff and am committed to ensuring the QCP serves only to enhance their work."
    In December 2012, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien appointed an internal work group to review the current status of EEOC investigations and conciliations, look for areas where the agency is excelling in its administrative law enforcement program, and determine where the agency would benefit from improvements within the context of the agency's limited fiscal resources. Yesterday's public meeting and the EEOC's solicitation of written public input in February 2013 is part of the agency's unprecedented effort over the last year to ensure the views of agency staff and our external partners and stakeholders are incorporated into the implementation of the agency's strategic plan.
    The Commission will hold open this Commission meeting's record for 15 days, and invites audience members, as well as other members of the public, to submit written comments on any issues or matters discussed at the meeting. Public comments may be mailed to Commission Meeting, EEOC Executive Officer, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20507, or emailed to:
    The public comments submitted will be made available to members of the Commission and to Commission staff working on the matters discussed at the meeting. In addition, the comments may be publicly disclosed on the EEOC's public website, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, or in the Commission's library. By providing public comments in response to this solicitation you are consenting to their use and consideration by the Commission and to their public dissemination. Accordingly, do not include any information in submitted comments that you would not want made public, e.g., home address, telephone number, etc. Also note that when comments are submitted by e-mail, the sender's e-mail address automatically appears on the message.
    The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at

    EEOC charges N.C. restaurant operator with bias against Muslim worker

    Business Insurance
    April 4, 2013 - 3:17pm

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Thursday filed suit against a North Carolina company that operates several Bojangles restaurants in the Charlotte, N.C., metropolitan area, charging it with failing to accommodate an employee’s Muslim beliefs.

    Full Story:|75|303#

    OFCCP Official Says New Audit Standards Are Better Suited for Detecting Pay Bias

    Bloomberg BNA
    Monday, April 1, 2013
    By Lydell C. Bridgeford

    Because the new procedures crafted by the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for conducting compensation audits adhere to the principles of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the agency is now in a position to address the various pay practices found among federal contractors, Pamela Coukos, senior program advisor with the agency, told participants during a March 22 OFCCP-sponsored webinar.

    Full Story:

    OFCCP wins major battle over coverage of some health care providers

    Seyfarth Shaw LLP
       April 5 2013
    The Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) takes an expansive view of its jurisdiction. In recent years, the OFCCP litigated vigorously to assert jurisdiction over many health care providers. Results have been mixed, as explained here and here. This round goes to the OFCCP. In Braddock, et al. v. Harris, et al., the United States District Court in the District of Columbia held that hospitals that provide medical services to federal employees pursuant to a contract with an HMO qualify as government subcontractors subject to the OFCCP's statutory and regulatory requirements. The opinion is available here.
    Full Story:

    President's Corner

    AAAA President’s Corner


    The Catholic Church has made history and proven itself to be a true inspiration when it comes to diversity and inclusion by starting at the very top.  The election of Pope Francis, the CEO of the 1.2 billion members Catholic Church, demonstrates this without a doubt in anyone’s mind. 

     Pope Francis is a great pastoral man of Latin American descent – Argentinian.  He worked with the poor, single mothers and the disenfranchised.  Pope Francis is someone known for breaking with tradition and bonding with people; living a humble life and riding the bus every day to connect with people.  He is inclusive in the real sense of the word.  As one priest put it, “the Catholic Church struck gold with Pope Francis.  Amen to that! 

     Pope Francis’ focus is poverty, prayer, and closeness to people in order to touch them where they are to influence their life.  Just imagine, Pope Francis washing the feet of a mixed group of male and female inmates letting them know he is at their service.  Also just imagine what it would be like if our American Institutions grabbed a hold of this philosophy of fairness, inclusion, and lifting people up no matter what their circumstances, opposed to treating certain people with dignity and respect and discarding those that need help the most.  As Louie Armstrong once sang, “What a Wonderful World This Would Be.”   This is the world that the American Association for Affirmative Action embraces and dedicates itself to.

     Religious institutions including the Catholic Church have a way to go regarding the inclusion of women as leaders and other controversial issues.  The selection of Pope Francis is, however, a symbol that positive change is possible, even for two thousand year-old institutions.


    Peace Be Unto You!


    Malaysia women want affirmative action legislation

    bikya news
    Posted date: April 05, 2013In: Business, Latest News, Southeast Asia, Women

    Malaysia continues to call for empowering women in the country.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia women are saying that more efforts are needed in order to empower them in certain sectors, especially the financial sector, and have called on the government to look into implementing a form of affirmative action in order to guarantee access to jobs and empowerment.

    Full Story:

    At the University of Texas, Concern Over an Affirmative Action Case

    Black students at the Austin campus say it is critical for the Supreme Court to uphold an admissions policy that allows race to be taken into account.

    Posted: 04/01/2013 06:08 PM EDT
    While the United States Supreme Court is deliberating on a case that could well reshape or reaffirm the course of affirmative action programs, African-American students at the university at the core of the case say it is crucial that their school’s admissions practices remain intact.

    HARRINGTON: The Unspoken Words of an Affirmative Action Beneficiary

    The Cornell Daily Sun
    March 27, 2013
    By Ashley Harrington

    As the class of 2017 is accepted and students begin to hear back from internships, graduate schools and employers, conversations surrounding merit and affirmative action seem to be almost inevitable. With this conversation comes the problematic rhetoric that people of color and women are taking the hard-earned spots of white men who may have worked harder. I will never forget the first time someone told me that I didn’t deserve to be accepted into Cornell.

    Full Story:

    Does Affirmative Action Do What It Should?

    New York Times Sunday Review

    Supreme Court Talks Race

    Originally aired on April 1, 2013
    Hosted by:

    A divided Supreme Court is addressing crucial legal issues on affirmative action and voting rights, answering the question of whether race-based laws are necessary.

    Affirmative action still important
    Posted: April 5, 2013 - 9:21pm

    Affirmative action
    still important
    The law ought to be colorblind, no doubt. It’s not right to treat one person differently from another because of the color of skin.

    Neil Shapiro: Roots of affirmative action

    Monterey County Herald

    Updated: 04/06/2013 09:14:47 PM PDT

    The phrase "affirmative action" is commonly credited to President Kennedy's 1961 executive order that created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and mandated that projects financed with federal funds "take affirmative action" to ensure hiring and employment practices are free of racial bias.
    In a 1965 speech to the graduating class at Howard University, President Lyndon Johnson framed the concept — that recognition of legal equality alone does not suffice to remedy the consequences of past racial discrimination.

    Is Affirmative Action still needed?
    Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:00 am

    By Thaddeus Mast,

    Affirmative Action is a policy that attempts to incorporate people who have traditionally been discriminated against into the workplace or school systems.
    A Supreme Court case will be deciding if affirmative action is still relevant later this year.

    Full Story:  (AAAA President Gregory T. Chambers quoted)

    Justices ignore historical context in aff. action cases

    the Georgetown Voice
    Posted on by

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Schuette v. Michigan Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, after hearing Fisher v. University of Texas earlier this term. “Another affirmative action case?” you might ask.
    While prima facie it may seem necessary to take up two cases on the same issue, both of these cases cannot be painted with the same brush. Fisher v. Texas is about the constitutionality of affirmative action—the plaintiff, a white female, having been rejected, sued the University of Texas, alleging that her spot was taken by less qualified candidates on the basis of race.

    Full Story:

    Supreme Court Determined to Kill Affirmative Action

    Friday, 05 April 2013 06:08

    (NNPA) A decade after carefully ruling in two University of Michigan cases – striking down the undergraduate admissions procedures and upholding those implemented by the law school – the U.S. Supreme Court seems on course to strike down even the mildest form of affirmative action admissions in higher education.
    After oral arguments in a case brought by a White student who was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin, the justices are expected to hand down a ruling in late June or early July. Rather than await the outcome of that case, last week the court accepted another challenge to affirmative action in Michigan, which will not be argued until the October term.

    Full Story: