Webinar: Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace

In partnership with the National Industry Liaison Group, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Merck, and EARN will share employment expertise and effective employer practices on mental health and wellness in the workplace.

Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 2-3pm EST


Diana Gulick, Associate Director, Benefits and Wellbeing, Merck

Nakisha Pugh, Senior Policy Advisor, ODEP

Click here to register for the event

Federal Contractor’s Recruitment Opportunities at Howard University

SAVE THE DATES!!! Howard University’s former Office of Career Services (OCS) has transitioned to The Center for Career and Professional Success (CCPS) and will be hosting the following virtual recruiting events to aide in their commitment to providing competitive, high-quality career services to recruiting partners. Employers will have opportunities to connect with a stream of qualified Howard University students through their newly established virtual programming. All employer events are being hosted via Handshake. See dates below. Registration for employers is currently open.

School of Business Career Expo – Friday, Feb., 12

All Majors Jobs and Internships Fair – Thurs., Feb. 25

Education Career Fair – April 15

For employer registration, visit https://howard.joinhandshake.com/register

For additional information, contact CCPS at careerservices@howard.edu | 202-806-7513

OFCCP Updates Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing FAQ

The OFCCP has updated the scheduling letter and itemized listing FAQ at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/faqs/scheduling-letters#Q1 to reflect NILG’s requests for:

  • 30 day extension for itemized listing materials
  • No more than 6 months of monitoring period data required
  • Return to language in prior FAQ for response to audits received in 11th month of plan year

This FAQ update was a big push by NILG led by Paul McGovern, Valerie Vickers and Cherise Robinson.    It took a while to get these changes so we are happy to see a positive response from OFCCP on this request!

Philadelphia Liberty ILG Statement on Recent Events

Dear Philadelphia ILG Members,

We hope that you are doing well and in good health. The past few weeks have been difficult, and we are saddened by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The Philadelphia Liberty Industry Liaison Group is an anti-racist organization. We believe that black lives matter. 

A central part of the Liberty ILG’s mission is to liaise with the OFCCP, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) and other fair employment practice agencies to further affirmative action and diversity goals. We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or racism of any nature. 

We will continue to work towards our goal as an organization committed to diversity, educating our members on compliance, and promoting Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity. 

We encourage you to review this list of resources that can help you in the fight against racism:

Anti-Racism for Beginners (alternate link)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

Podcast, Code Switch

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo

2020 Philadelphia Liberty ILG Meeting Schedule

Thursday, February 20, 2020 – Pay Equity/Compensation Compliance, Temple University Center City, 8:30am-12:30pm

Thursday, May 21, 2020 – VETS-themed all-day meeting, TD Bank, Mt. Laurel NJ, 8:00am-4:00pm

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 – Virtual meeting/webinar, 9:00am-11:00am

November 2020 – Date, time, and theme TBD, Comcast Philadelphia

5/21/19 Philadelphia Liberty ILG Meeting – Disability Inclusion Day

The 2Q19 Philadelphia Liberty ILG Meeting – Disability Inclusion Day – was a huge success!  We had a great turnout with over 50 attendees and representatives from OFCCP, ODEP, and EEOC present.   Meeting materials and presentations from the event can be found on the Members-Only Resources page. 

Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed regarding funding for PA DOL’s Office of Vocation Rehabilitation (PA OVR)

Op-Ed piece from 6/27/19 Philadelphia Inquirer – This piece advocates for the allocation of additional funding for the PA OVR which provides access to training and job placement to disabled Pennsylvanians.  This is a timely piece given the topic of our last (and fabulous) 5/21/19 meeting. Several companies of Liberty ILG members have hired workers who have benefitted from training funded by PA OVR. 

Liberty ILG member companies may want to send letters to the administration to express their support for additional funding for PA OVR.


Thanks to Liberty ILG Membership Committee member Samina Weil of Fisher Phillips for this summary!

OFCCP Warns Law Firms To ‘Get House In Order’ On Diversity


By Vin Gurrieri

Law360, New York (April 10, 2019, 9:43 PM EDT) — Law firms need to “get their house in order” when it comes to their diversity and inclusion practices, the top official at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs told industry stakeholders Wednesday, both to serve as a model for other businesses and to fulfill their responsibilities as federal contractors.

OFCCP Director Craig Leen’s comments came at a legal industry compliance event the agency held in Manhattan. There, he cautioned that law may be among the industry sectors that will soon face increased scrutiny by the agency of their equal employment opportunity practices — particularly when it comes to promotions — since women, minorities and disabled individuals are vastly underrepresented in top-level equity partner positions.

“Law firms need to get their house in order,” Leen told industry stakeholders. “You need to take a look at what’s happening because you are the example to the world of compliance with law. … It’s important that you never be in a position where it be viewed as you are being hypocritical or not following the legal advice that you give to others.”

The OFCCP is a department within the U.S. Department of Labor that enforces nondiscrimination and affirmative-action requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors, which can include law firms that perform work for government agencies.

During his remarks, Leen cited a recent study by the National Association for Law Placement that said women and women of color are vastly underrepresented at the equity partner level when compared with the percentage of women who graduate law school and those that make up firms’ associate ranks. He also cited a statistic that less than a half-percent of equity partners are individuals with disabilities.

“These numbers are glaring, they are concerning, they are troubling, they are problematic, and they are systemic,” Leen said. “They’re something that law firms need to take a look at, and it’s something it’s going to be a focus of OFCCP.”

While he mostly avoided discussing the root causes of firms’ long-standing problems with diversity and inclusion in high-level positions or possible solutions, Leen made a point to mention that inadequate policies regarding paid leave for new parents can be an obstacle to diversity at the top or, if a good policy is in place, a way to combat any lack of diversity that exists.

As best practices, Leen said that law firms could consider prorating billable hour requirements for any parent that takes leave and making sure that they aren’t penalized for taking leave. He also suggested that firms conduct self-assessments every year at whether men are taking leave when they have kids, figuring out ways to encourage them to do so and studying how both men and women fare upon their return to work.

Moreover, the OFCCP’s top official said the agency plans to issue guidance regarding how far the agency’s reach extends when it comes to policing problematic practices involving lawyers who are equity partners, an issue that Leen acknowledged has been up for debate. But the OFCCP director also said he believes the agency can currently look at issues surrounding promotions to equity partner positions.

“The promotion of associates or nonequity partners to partner is something I think we would have jurisdiction over because we have jurisdiction over the employees who are being promoted to partner or not promoted,” Leen said. “Someone who’s not promoted to partner is still an employee. So, they’ve been harmed would be the argument if they’ve been discriminated against, particularly if that affects their compensation or their opportunities at the firm.

“Generally, I do think we have a hook here, which is the promotion hook, and we are going to be pursuing that when we look at firms,” Leen added.

While not many firms were scheduled for audits this year based on the “neutral criteria” that the agency used to make its selections, Leen said the issue over promotions will be a focus of the agency as soon as the next fiscal year for for law firms and contractors in other sectors like finance and academia where women and minorities are statistically underrepresented in top positions.

Wednesday’s event was the second held by the OFCCP in two days, coming on the heels of an event Tuesday for financial industry stakeholders. The events were held with the dual-pronged objective of informing industry stakeholders about the agency’s initiatives and goals, but also to obtain feedback about areas where the agency can improve.

On the former front, Leen on Wednesday laid out a general set of principles that the agency will focus on under his watch: increasing transparency, creating certainty, improving efficiency and publicly recognizing the best performing contractors.  

As to the first of those planks, Leen acknowledged that the agency “has been known in the past to not be very transparent,” and said he wants contractors to have a clear idea of both what it is doing and how it is doing it.

“Transparency is key to the success of this agency and making sure that it has a bigger impact across the United States,” Leen said.

As to improving the efficiency of the matters it handles, Leen said that the long periods of time that it takes to resolve some cases “is a huge threat and problem for the agency” in part because many companies often won’t move to fix a problematic compensation system until a case is resolved.

Leen noted that the agency has over 100 administrative matters pending that are more than four years old, a number he said “makes no sense” and that isn’t helpful for businesses, workers or the agency itself. The agency will be increasing the number of random audits it conducts in the future but streamlining them so they are completed far quicker and place a priority on resolving the oldest cases currently in the system, he said.

“My general view of the contractors in this country is that the vast majority of them don’t intend to discriminate,” Leen said, noting that bias is only found in about 2% of the agency’s audits. “Nevertheless, a good company, when we show them a disparity and there’s no explanation for that disparity, should want to fix it and they should work with us to do so.”

–Editing by Aaron Pelc.