In this podcast, we discuss the cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, involving affirmative action or race-conscious admissions in higher education. Lauren Hicks of Ogletree Deakins’ Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group and Jim Plunkett, Washington D.C. shareholder and author of our weekly Beltway Buzz newsletter, summarize the recent oral arguments and the implications the decisions might have on employers. Lauren and Jim discuss the federal contractor affirmative action obligations under Executive Order 11246 and how those obligations contrast with affirmative action in the educational context. The podcast concludes with discussion of how the decisions in the college admissions cases might impact employment practices in diversity and inclusion or federal contractor OFCCP compliance.
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In this episode, Bud Bobber, who is a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins’ Milwaukee office and chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Industry Group, speaks to Sean Kelley, who is a nationally recognized thought leader in corporate military affairs, recruiting, and transition programs. Bud and Sean discuss the rationale for implementing an intentional strategy for recruiting, hiring, and employing veterans. The speakers also explain how veterans, as a diverse group, can be an important part of any company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) plan and how biases, conscious or otherwise, have often created impediments to having veterans in the workforce. This podcast also offers suggestions—in conjunction with our recent article, “Employing Veterans: Insights for Hiring Veterans and Supporting Veterans in the Workforce”— for employers to tap into this rich stream of new talent continually flowing into the workforce as service persons transition to civilian life.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell interviews Mandy Kustra, the safety director of Ajax Paving. Mandy is a leader in advocating for women in the construction industry and in safety careers. She explains how she got into construction and safety and how mentoring, advocacy, and building a network of support has helped other women do the same. Mandy also discusses personal protective equipment (PPE) fit in the construction industry, OSHA’s forthcoming standard clarification, and the importance of internal traffic control plans (ITCPs) in the transportation construction industry.
As a growing number of state and local governments have passed laws legalizing marijuana use, employers have been faced with the need to balance competing needs and interests, including: recruitment and retention; compliance requirements, such as disability and medical marijuana accommodations; and the need to maintain a safe workplace. In this podcast, Mike Clarkson, co-chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Drug Testing Practice Group, offers valuable insights and tips for navigating the complex and evolving issues regarding marijuana in the workplace.
In this podcast, Diana Nehro and Patty Shapiro discuss best practices for employers hiring global employees through third-party providers such as an employer of record (EOR), a professional employer organization, and a staffing firm. The speakers cover topics, including contracting with such vendors, the importance of understanding local labor laws, and strategies to address equity compensation. Stay tuned for the next installment of this series where Diana and Patty address the audience’s most common questions in this growing area of interests for employers with a global workforce.
In this podcast, Scott Kelly, Morgan Epperson, and Chris Near of Ogletree Deakins’ Affirmative Action and OFCCP Compliance Practice Group discuss the increased attention the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has on the construction industry. After several years when OFCCP admittedly did not engage in significant construction enforcement work, prioritizing compliance audits of construction contractors has emerged as a top area of focus. The speakers discuss this change and share their insights on the compliance obligations where the agency has placed particular emphasis during their audits.
In this podcast, Lauren Hicks, Leigh Nason, and Scott Kelly discuss Directive 2022-01, which the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) revised and renamed on August 18, 2022. The speakers cover how the new directive, which amends the agency’s guidance suggesting that federal contractors must perform annual pay equity audits to comply with affirmative action programming (AAP) regulatory requirements, walks back language regarding the documentation required to demonstrate compliance with compensation analysis obligations. The speakers also discuss how the revised guidance imposes new burdens for contractors and offer insights into the reasons fueling the agency’s changes regarding conducting compensation analyses and evaluations.
In this podcast, Joey Fong and Ceri Koski discuss the various changes that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented since the pandemic, proposed rulemaking regarding the alternative verification options, and proposed I-9 form changes. The speakers discuss steps employers can take in anticipation of the October 31 expiration date of the temporary rule that had allowed employers to use remote or virtual verification of employment eligibility documents. They also cover the details on DHS’s proposed rule (which may still include a remote or virtual option), whether DHS will impose document retention requirements, and how alternative options might impact fraudulent document detection. Ceri and Joey also discuss the merits of the possible impending revisions to the I-9 form.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell has a raw and real conversation with the president of Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., Vince Hafeli, regarding his own personal experience as a suicide survivor and his mission to help others see death by suicide as an urgent workplace safety and health issue. Vince dispels the myths about death by suicide and discusses how Ajax’s ownership and executive team have opened the discussion at all levels of the company to encourage those in crisis to get help and to educate all employees on how to spot warning signs. Phillip and Vince discuss how all employers, especially those in the construction industry, can increase their own awareness and take action in addition to relaying practical tips and resources.
In this episode of Dirty Steel-Toe Boots, host Phillip Russell has an enlightening conversation with Lori Baggett an in-house corporate counsel with responsibility for legal issues related to workplace safety and health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Lori discusses how her experience as a former outside counsel helps her add value to her role as vice president and assistant general counsel. She offers practical tips for in-house counsel who are responsible for OSHA matters, including for those who have limited experience in this area. Lori also shares some tips for in-house safety professionals on how to best work with their legal departments to improve safety and manage liability. Phillip and Lori have a candid and insightful discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession.