Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

Dear Kairos Client,

Merry Christmas from all of us at Kairos Services.  We would like to thank you for being our valued client through 2015 and we make two commitments to you.  First, we pledge to continue to work with you to achieve 100% compliance and secondly, we promise not to take your business for granted.  We know you have choices and we are honored you have chosen us.

As many of you know, Kairos is a Greek word from the Bible that we translate as “God’s perfect timing”.  So those times when things happen in your life that are meant to be, when everything comes together perfectly, when the moon and sun are perfectly aligned, well, we call those “kairos moments”.  So our wish for you for 2016 is many kairos moments along with good health and many blessings.

Our office will be closed Thursday, December 23, through Monday, December 28. We look forward to serving you in 2016.

Sincerely,
The Kairos Staff

Friday, December 18, 2015

OFCCP Clarifies Interpretation of “Active Duty Wartime”, Protected Veteran Category

The OFCCP recently posted two new FAQs related to the “AM I A PROTECTED VETERAN?” infographic released last month. These FAQs clarify the agency’s interpretation of who is considered a “protected veteran” under the “active duty wartime” category. Specifically, the OFCCP has clarified their interpretation of who is a “protected veteran,” aligning their interpretation with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which includes veterans serving during a “period of war.”

If you have any questions concerning this Executive Order, please contact Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.                      

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is no time more fitting to say Thank You
A special greeting at Thanksgiving time to express to you our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty.

We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Marshall Mendez, Norma Brito,
Nick Paul, Jen McAlister & The Kairos Family

Friday, October 30, 2015

President Obama Signs Paid Sick Leave Executive Order for Federal Contractors

An Executive Order signed last month requires Federal contractors to provide workers with up to seven days (56 hours) or more of paid sick leave annually, including the ability to carry over accrued leave from one year to the next.  The Executive Order will go into effect on January 1, 2017 and requires the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations to implement the order by September 30, 2016.

The Order applies to all employees whose wages are governed by the Service Contract Act, Davis-Bacon Act or Fair Labor Standards Act, including employees who qualify for an exemption from its minimum wage and overtime provisions.  The Order extends to all new Federal contracts, contract-like instruments and solicitations (collectively referred to as “contracts”).  It is important to note that the Order explicitly states “Nothing shall excuse noncompliance with or supersede any applicable Federal or State law, any applicable law or municipal ordinance, or a collective bargaining agreement requiring greater paid sick leave or leave rights than those established under this order.”

Details about the Order include:
  • Not less than one hour of paid sick leave is earned for every thirty hours of work
  • Unused leave can be carried over from year to year
  • Unused leave will be reinstated for employees rehired within twelve months after separation
  • Sick leave may be used for preventative care and for care of “close association[s]”
  • The Order does not require payment for accrued sick leave at separation

If you have any questions concerning this Executive Order, please contact Nick Paul at Nick@KairosServicesInc.com or call the Kairos office at 972-369-0015.

Monday, October 26, 2015

EEO-1 Filing Deadline Approaching

This is a reminder the EEO-1 Survey is open and this Friday is the rapidly approaching deadline. Federal contractors are required to file EEO-1 reports if they meet the requirements. In the event of an OFCCP audit you should expect to be asked to provide copies of your reports; so be sure you download or print a copy of your final certified reports. Also remember the closer to the deadline you file the more likely technical issues will arise and the agency will be unavailable to assist you in time to file by the deadline.

If you would like us to review your reports and compare them to your AAPs for consistency please let us know by Wednesday of this week.

Kairos Services now offers EEO-1 (and Vets-4212) report preparation and filing services.  If you would like us to submit your reports this week please email or call us for a quote today.

The Vets-4212 Report deadline was September 30.  As of this morning the system is still open if you haven't yet filed your reports.

Jennifer McAlister
Reports/Special Projects Manager
jen@kairosserivcesinc.com
(972) 369-0015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Disability Inclusion Starts With You

Ever wish you had a video that explained why you're asking employees to self-identify disability status? Look no further! The OFCCP just released a one minute video detailing why Federal Contractors are required to ask and how it benefits employees.

YouTube Video

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pay Transparency Final Rule

On September 11, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13665. The Final Rule, which takes effect on January 11, 2016, amends the existing regulations that implement Executive Order 11246 including the Equal Opportunity Clause. Paragraphs (3) through (7) of the Equal Opportunity Clause are re-designated as paragraphs (4) through (8). A new paragraph (3) is added and reads as follows.

“The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant. This provision shall not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of such employee’s essential job functions discloses the compensation of such other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a formal complaint or charge, in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or is consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.”

Note: This equal opportunity clause applies to contracts entered into or modified on or after 
January  11, 2016.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

OFCCP Publishes “EEO is the Law” Poster Supplement

OFCCP’s Supplement to the “EEO is the Law” poster has been published. The supplement updates protections under Executive Order 11246 to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The poster also contains language to reflect the new Pay Transparency Rule published earlier this month.

Federal Contractors will be required to post the supplement anywhere the “EEO is the Law” poster is physically and/or electronically displayed. Contractors should note the section related to the Pay Transparency Rule does not take effect until January 11th, 2016.

Please click the following link to download the “EEO is the Law” Poster Supplement.

Please contact Nick Paul at 972-369-0015 or nick@KairosServicesInc.com with comments or questions. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

OFCCP Jurisdictional Thresholds Infographic

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released an easy to read infographic detailing jurisdictional thresholds for Federal Contractors.  This infographic details specific monetary and employee thresholds for the following three areas of compliance enforced by the OFCCP:
  • Executive Order 11246
  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 , as amended (VEVRAA)
Please contact Kairos with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at norma@kairosservicesinc.com.

Please feel free to also visit this news feed at http://kairosservicesinc.com/news.html#100615. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

OFCCP Announces a Final Rule to Promote Pay Transparency

In 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13665, promoting pay transparency and openness, making it possible for workers and job applicants to share information about their pay and compensation without fear of discrimination. On September 10, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule implementing that order. This Final Rule takes effect on January 11, 2016, 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register, and amends the existing regulations that implement EO 11246.

The Final Rule amends the EO 11246 implementing regulations by:
  • Requiring that certain information be included in covered federal contracts and subcontracts. The Final Rule requires that the equal opportunity clause included in covered federal contracts and subcontracts be amended to include that federal contractors and subcontractors must refrain from discharging, or otherwise discriminating against, employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants. An exception exists where the employee or applicant makes the disclosure based on information obtained in the course of performing his or her essential job functions;
  • Requiring that federal contractors incorporate a prescribed nondiscrimination provision into their existing employee manuals or handbooks and disseminate the nondiscrimination provision to employees and to job applicants;
  • Defining key terms such as compensation, compensation information, and essential job functions as used in EO 11246, as amended; and
  • Providing employers with two defenses to an allegation of discrimination: a general defense, which could be based on the enforcement of a "workplace rule" that does not prohibit the discussion of compensation information; and an essential job functions defense.

A copy of the Final Rule can be found by clicking here

Please contact Kairos Services with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email us at Experts@KairosServicesInc.com

Monday, August 17, 2015

AM I A PROTECTED VETERAN?

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA), as amended (38 U.S.C. § 4212), prohibits discrimination against protected veterans.

Under VEVRAA, a veteran may be classified as a ‘‘disabled veteran,’’ ‘‘recently separated veteran,’’ ‘‘active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran,’’ or ‘‘Armed Forces service medal veteran.’’

OFCCP has recently released the following infographicAM I A PROTECTED VETERAN” to help applicants/employees of Federal Contractors navigate the self-identification process.


Please contact Nicolas Paul with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at nick@kairosservicesinc.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Annual Reporting

It's not too early for companies to start preparing for the annual report filing season. Federal contractors are required to file EEO-1 and VETS-4212 reports if they meet the requirements. In the event of an OFCCP audit you should expect to be asked to provide copies of your reports.
Beginning with the 2015 filing season there are signification changes to the VETS filing.
  • There is no longer a VETS-100 form.
  • The VETS-100A form is replaced with the VETS-4212 form.
  • Reporting of protected veterans will be by EEO-1 category and total number of protected veterans, rather than as individual veteran categories as previously filed.
Kairos Services is here to help! We can review your reports and compare them to your AAP for consistency in reporting. If you are interested we can also prepare your reports for you. Please contact Norma Brito (norma@kairosservicesinc.com) for questions and prices.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

AUDIT ALERT: Good Faith Efforts   
Date: May 21st, 2015

OFCCP’s compliance officers have taken a stronger stance on contractor Good Faith Efforts (GFEs).  OFCCP’s measure of compliance has fundamentally shifted away from their typical job posting/recruitment effort requests.  Now, OFCCP is requesting information not only related to women and minorities, but individuals with disabilities and protected veterans.  Contractors must now track recruitment source/agency names, contact names and phone numbers, and the group(s) targeted by particular agencies/sources.  In addition, Contractors must evaluate the effectiveness of the results of their outreach efforts.   

Kairos has developed Compliance Toolkits designed to assist Federal contractors in listing, tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of their efforts for both protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  If you have not done so already, please request a copy of your compliance toolkit today!


Please contact Nicolas Paul (nick@kairosservicesinc.com) or Norma Brito (norma@kairosservicesinc.com) with questions or comments.  Feel free to call if you prefer.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Subject: AUDIT ALERT: Website Compliance  
Date: May 14th, 2015

It appears OFCCP’s compliance officers have taken a renewed interest in contractor website compliance.  Kairos would like to remind you that the following information must be included on the homepage/career pages of your website.   
  • Updated EEO Tagline
  • Language for Reasonable Accommodation Requests
  • Language for the “EEO is the Law” Poster
Ensure you update your EEO Tagline on your website/careers page to one of the following
(for home and careers webpages)

“All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.”

OR the more abbreviated reference:

“Equal Employment Opportunity/M/F/disability/protected veteran status”


Language for applicant reasonable accommodation requests
(for careers webpage)
COMPANY is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

If you need special assistance or an accommodation while seeking employment, please e-mail xxxx@COMPANY.com or call: xxx-xxx-xxxx. We will make a determination on your request for reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis.
 


Language for “EEO is the Law" Poster
(for careers webpage)
 
The law requires COMPANY to post a notice describing the Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination. For information regarding your legal rights and protections, please click on the following link:  EEO is the Law.
 


Please contact Nicolas Paul with questions or comments at 972-369-0015 or email at
Nick@KairosServicesInc.com.           

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

OFCCP's National Annual Benchmark for VEVRAA Lowered to 7 Percent

OFCCP has announced that the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) benchmark has been lowered to 7.0 percent, from the previous 7.2 percent benchmark. National and state information has also been updated in the VEVRAA Benchmark Database for federal contractors and subcontractors who calculate an individualized hiring benchmark using the five-factor method.

The Annual National Benchmark, as well as data for calculating individual hiring benchmarks, can be found if you click here.

Effective March 24, 2014, contractors required by VEVRAA to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) must also establish a hiring benchmark for protected veterans each year or adopt the national benchmark provided by OFCCP. Under either approach, contractors must compare the percentage of employees who are protected veterans in each of their establishments to the hiring benchmark set for that establishment. Contractors should use the result of this comparison when assessing the effectiveness of their veteran outreach and recruitment efforts. This VEVRAA Benchmark Database provides additional information regarding the establishment of hiring benchmarks and easy access to the national and state data that may be needed to establish these benchmarks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

OFCCP Releases FAQs on Veteran Self-Identification & New VETS-4212 Form

In response to contractor inquiries, OFCCP has posted two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the new VETS-4212 reporting form and the requirement to invite voluntary self-identification of protected veteran status under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). One FAQ addresses whether contractors must continue to invite self-identification by category of protected veteran at the post-offer stage. The other FAQ addresses contractors' ability to choose to continue to invite self-identification by category of protected veteran. Please find the OFCCP FAQs below:

1. The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) replaced the VETS-100A form with a new VETS-4212 form. The new form requires federal contractors to report aggregate data on the number of protected veterans that were newly hired and the number they employed. This is different from the previous requirement that contractors report the data by the number of veterans in each of the individual categories for protected veterans. To comply with OFCCP's VEVRAA requirements, must contractors continue to invite applicants to self-identify using the individual categories at the post-offer stage?

Answer: No. The VEVRAA requirement, at 41 CFR 60-300.42(b), mandates that contractors invite post-offer self-identification as a protected veteran. This provision is specifically linked to the scope of the VETS reporting requirement. Accordingly, since the new VETS-4212 report no longer requires contractors to provide this information by the individual protected veteran categories, contractors are not required to invite self-identification by category in order to comply with VEVRAA's post-offer invitation requirement. Rather, contractors need only invite those offered a job to indicate whether they are protected veterans under any of the VEVRAA categories.


2. May a contractor continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as a protected veteran using the individual categories for protected veterans even though the new VETS-4212 form asks only for aggregated protected veteran data?


Answer: Yes. Though not required, contractors may choose to continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify the specific category or categories of protected veteran to which they belong at the post-offer stage, so long as the contractor also provides VETS with the aggregate protected veteran data required by the VETS-4212 form.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Disability Job Fair & Symposium in Austin Texas on Friday, February 6, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP), Independent Living Experience (ILE), the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), and Workforce Solutions Capital Area invite you to attend a free Symposium and Job Fair focused on recruiting and hiring individuals with disabilities.


The fair is a community outreach event in the Austin area to educate employers and other stakeholders on the changing recruitment and accommodation responsibilities for hiring individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. OFCCP will present information related to the recent changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) regulations. In addition, partnering agencies such as ILE, DARS and Workforce Solutions Capital Area will brief employers on the services and support they provide to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining the education and training needed to find competitive employment.

Learn More About Job Fair & Symposium

Monday, January 12, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS, SHAFEEQA GIARRANTANI

Kairos is extremely pleased to announce that Shafeeqa Watkins Giarrantani has been promoted to Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. Kairos Services partners with Shafeeqa to provide exceptional affirmative action and EEO services to companies throughout the country. Please join us as we congratulate Shafeeqa on her much deserved promotion.