Thursday, April 24, 2014

BITS & PIECES: New AAP Regulations Covering Individuals with Disabilities & Veterans - Equal Opportunity Clause - Tagline for Solicitation and Advertisements

On March 23, 2014 new federal regulations for Federal service and supply contractors went into effect; one for Individuals with Disabilities (IWD) and one for Veterans. The regulations require contractors to add “disability” and “veteran” to the Equal Opportunity tagline in solicitation and advertisements for employees. Older regulations require contractors to include language indicating they will consider all qualified applicants, regardless of race, color, sex, national origin or religion. In a 2014 OFCCP webinar, officials said contractors should use “disability” and “vet” at a minimum in solicitations and advertisements; abbreviations “D and V are “not adequate”.

Below is the related text found on the OFCCP web site under their Question and Answers:

Vacancy Announcement Tagline
1. May contractors satisfy the EEO tagline requirement by abbreviating "disability" and "protected veteran status" as "D" and "V," respectively?

Contractors may refer to those protected by Section 503 or VEVRAA by abbreviation, but such abbreviations must be commonly understood by those seeking employment. Simply using "D" and "V" are not adequate abbreviations for this reason. For those protected by Section 503 or VEVRAA, the tagline should at a minimum state "disability" and "vet" so that the tagline will be clearly understood by jobseekers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

BITS & PIECES: New AAP Regulations Covering Individuals with Disabilities & Veterans - EEO Clause for Contracts with Suppliers

On March 23, 2014 new federal regulations for Federal service and supply contractors went into effect. There are two regulations, one for Individuals with Disabilities (IWD) and one for Veterans. One of the changes is in the language for contracts with suppliers. Both regulations require additional EEO language for contracts with suppliers.  

Bottom line, there are three ways to post the notice(s) and meet the regulations:
Post the entire text for each regulation (one for IWD and one for Veterans).
Post the individual citations (short version) for each regulation.
Post a combined version (this is the highlighted version below as drafted by the OFCCP on their web site).

 A contractor can determine what version they may choose to site the regulations.

Below is the exact text placed by the OFCCP on its Question and Answer web site. This is their example of combining the previous language covering race, color, religion, sex or national origin with the new language adding IWDs and Veterans into one statement. This statement can be used to meet the requirements for all three regulations.  Your old language in the contracts can be replaced with this new language.

Below is the published question followed by the highlighted answer found on the OFCCP’s web site:

2. Are federal contractors permitted to combine all of the Equal Opportunity (EO) clauses required by 41 CFR § 60-300.5(a), 41 CFR § 60-741.5(a), and 41 CFR § 60-1.4(a) (or for construction contractors, 41 CFR § 60-4.3(a)) into a single, consolidated “incorporation by reference” clause?
Yes, contractors may combine all of their required EO clauses into a single "incorporation by reference" clause, provided that the entire combined clause is set in bold text and the prescribed content of the veteran and disability EO "incorporation by reference" clauses is preserved. The following example provides one illustration of how this might be done for a supply and service contractor:

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR §§ 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, protected veteran status or disability.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Food for Thought

"The last buggy whip factory was no doubt a model of efficiency." - Peter Drucker

"When I hear artists or authors making fun of businessmen I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks." - Anonymous

"The thing to remember is that the future comes one day at a time." - Dean Acheson

"Most ball games are lost, not won." - Casey Stengel

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How We Can Help

The unspoken question that all audiences have, whether it is an audience of one or one million, is quite simple: 

"What's in it for me?"

Rather than reciting a general list of our services, we can best answer that by describing the types of situations in which we have provided substantial help to people over the years. Look over these examples and see if any of them resemble or match your needs:

  • An executive wanted to improve communication with his direct reports.
  • A team needed training on harassment prevention and EEO.
  • A hard-charging manager was having problems communicating diplomatically with a diverse group of employees and needed one-on-one coaching.
  • A highly accomplished executive felt an outside perspective could give an added boost to his leadership skills.
  • An employer with federal contracts received a letter from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announcing an upcoming Affirmative Action audit.
  • A large organization had conflicting departments and - unknown to them at the time - conflicting goals.
  • An organization faced customer service problems, both with external and internal customers.
  • Public sector executives and managers wanted training on how to make presentations to their councils and boards.
  • A federal contractor needed an Affirmative Action Plan.
  • An executive wanted a 360 degree evaluation of his leadership style.
  • A supervisor's stress level was rising due to a very difficult employee.
  • The employee handbook was boring and outdated and needed revision.
  • The employer needed training in ethical decision making.
  • A team was unsure about how to mesh leadership with management.
  • The workplace had problems with trust.
If these resemble any of the challenges you face, let's talk. 

Call us today at 602-788-1717 or email: . 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

EEO/AA Management is Sound Management

Simply put, Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action programs need active and energetic management. If left untended, organizations can become a jungle where indifference, inflated job descriptions, questionable standards, sloppy screening, missed hiring opportunities, outright or subtle discrimination, hostile work environments, and quotas are tolerated or ignored. 

And any of those can attract the 500 pound gorilla of litigation.

We've found that the best EEO/AA programs neatly mesh with sound human resources practices and high ethical standards. They don't stand apart as requirements that require occasional attention but instead blend in with daily management and supervisory behavior. This not only reduces resistance to such programs, it benefits the entire organization because EEO and Affirmative Action - if handled properly - are important tools for finding, keeping, and developing talent.

Questionable EEO/AA programs fail to enlist the active participation and support of the entire team. Just as the best quality management programs reach every corner of the organization, the best EEO/AA programs demonstrate how everyone has a role that goes far beyond preventing discrimination. 

In short, EEO/AA management is a major component of talent management. It not only prevents problems, it creates positive contributions to the organization's success by ensuring that employees work and strive in an environment where the only discrimination is on the basis of merit.

For information on how we can assist with the management of your EEO/AA program, call us at 602-788-1717 or email 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Procrastination Infection

I'll do it when:
  • I'm in the right mood. [When that state is achieved, I'm a dynamo.]
  • The time is right. [If it ever is.]
  • I have enough time to complete the entire project. [Because doing part of it just wouldn't be right.]
  • I have all of the information. [And I always need more information.]
  • Everyone's back from vacation. [Don't they all go at the same time?]
It is a rare person who is immune from the procrastination infection. All of us can find ample excuses for not tackling a project. A reason why we succumb to many of those excuses is that they are seldom without merit. We also want to do it right and "it" is the entire project.

Time management consultant/author David Allen notes that we don't work on projects; projects are the result of what we work on, and that rather than adopting an "all or nothing" approach, we should  focus on the next steps. That way, we will get to the end of the day with some tangible progress in hand instead of gazing at - and being demoralized by - a list of unfinished projects. [We experience more stress from the uncompleted than from the "not started."]

There is much wisdom in Allen's advice. Most of the good and bad things in life are produced incrementally. Every day, we advance or fall back in small segments. Taking matters 30 minutes at a time can make enormous sense. There will be hectic days when 10 minute segments may be necessary.

If we are going to fight procrastination, we have to think incrementally.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strategies for Unhappiness

Consider how many of the following strategies may have slipped into your own approach to life:

  • Don't appreciate your achievements. Instead, regard them as things that anyone could do or which somehow occurred through no serious effort of your own.
  • Keep raising the bar for satisfaction instead of celebrating when goals are achieved. 
  • Chastise yourself for not being perfect.
  • Compare yourself to others and believe that other people are much happier, more self-confident, and have fewer problems.
  • Expect others to behave and think as you would behave and think.
  • Expect others to know when you are upset. Regard their failure to notice as a sign that they are insensitive and uncaring.
  • Link your success to achieving a particular job title or income level.
  • Periodically re-open old wounds.
  • Always be on the alert for any insults or slights.
  • Give greater weight to criticism than to praise.
  • Expect others to be angels and then condemn them when they fall short.
  • Believe that anyone who has more took it from someone else.
  • Worry about your failure to control things that are beyond your ability to control.
  • Worry about things that are unlikely to happen.
  • Always be wary of being hustled.
  • Focus on getting others to understand you instead of first understanding others.
  • Be harder on yourself that you would be on similarly situated others.
  • Associate with people who have similar negative habits so you can reinforce one another's feelings.
  • Tell yourself every day that you are an impostor who talks a good game but who really doesn't deserve to be in your job.
  • Keep careful score on who gets what.
  • Expect the world to be fair and always define fairness as you getting more rather than you getting less.
  • Cultivate an attitude of entitlement.
  • Define wants as needs and have plenty of wants.
  • Seldom show gratitude.