Arbor is known for responsive, practical problem-solving for our clients. Examples below include real results and client satisfaction.
Affirmative Action Plan Preparation
Large Manufacturer With Multiple Geographic Establishments
Bringing Multiple Acquisitions Up-To-Speed While Defending OFCCP Audits
Large federal contractor organization was in the midst of acquiring mom and pop companies across the country. At the same time the OFCCP was auditing one site after another, before the acquired, previously non-contractor sites could be integrated and brought up-to-speed with compliance.
Arbor was hired to get in front of both the integration efforts and the audits to reduce the organization’s exposure and potential liability.
Arbor took a two-pronged approach, with the team working at one level to bring the new sites into compliance, as soon as possible, while taking over management of the OFCCP audits to successful outcomes.
Global Consulting Firm With
Over 50 U.S. Office Establishments
This organization’s growth has been propelled through several merger and acquisitions. The firm is now comprised of more than 20 related yet distinct businesses, most of which span multiple locations across the U.S.
Geographic AAPs were not aligned with company structure. Large numbers of plans made this approach unwieldy and expensive.
A Functional Affirmative Action Plan (FAAP) approach to federal contractor compliance made strategic and financial sense for this employer.
Working with Talent and HR leaders at the client, Arbor redesigned the AAP architecture to transition it from geographic plans to a Functional AAP structure for all U.S. employees. Arbor then wrote and submitted the FAAP petition to OFCCP and interacted with FAAP leadership at OFCCP to achieve approval.
Arbor continues to manage the FAAP approval process by submitting required updates and acting as the point of contact with the Agency’s FAAP office. As the organization has continued to merge and acquire other businesses, the FAAP design allows for ease of integration.
The firm has reduced its compliance burden by shrinking the number of AAPs prepared from upwards of 50 geographic plans to 15 FAAPs.
The FAAP structure mirrors the business structure, so that AAP results are useful tools to business leaders, rather than a confusing, jumble of unrelated data.
The limited number of AAPs and a more streamlined approach has generated cost and time savings for this large employer.
$20 Billion Healthcare Enterprise
Turnaround of Contentious Audit Situation
Arbor was called in after the OFCCP Desk Audit materials were submitted. Based on additional Agency requests, it appeared the audit was going to result in: major violations; charges of discrimination in the selection process; disability discrimination; and steering claims.
The data was several years old, at this point, and the Agency was entrenched in its position that the organization was acting improperly.
The Arbor Team started the project by accurately reconstructing the data, especially the voluminous applicant flow data, which include: Evergreen positions; parent-child requisitions; inconclusive disposition codes; and data from two different applicant tracking systems.
During this time, the OFCCP sent numerous additional data requests; conducted several visits on-site; and interviewed scores of employees and managers.
Arbor supported the client at every step, readying personnel for interviews, and preparing multiple, complex data responses, ensuring consistency and accuracy.
After nearly two years of Arbor refuting the OFCCP’s claims point by point, submission by submission, the audit was closed with only minor technical violations, with none of the initially threatened discriminatory or potential charges. Perhaps equally important, no negative publicity or litigation has resulted for this major employer.
Global Professional Services Firm - in transition
Functional AAP (FAAP) Audits
One of our FAAP clients has undergone OFCCP audits of five of their 15 functional AAPs within the last two years. In each audit, Arbor acted as the agent of record, speaking on behalf of the organization with the OFCCP; preparing and submitting the Desk Audit materials; responding to OFCCP questions; and leading the audit team.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, the organization was transitioning from old HRIS and applicant tracking systems to new ones; re-aligning employees; implementing new initiatives; and undergoing merger integration.
Arbor developed a systematic, yet flexible approach to the audits, which created a template for the work, yet left room for customization. We did the heavy lifting of revisiting job groups, looking at internal equity and conducting a pre-audit up front, to avoid a long, protracted audit on the back end. We find this saves time and money in the long run and helps to maintain the integrity of the data and Desk Audit submission.
All audits were closed with compliance and very few questions from the agency.
Upfront work paid off with no violations, a shorter audit time frame and a smoother audit process.
University Audit Support and Compliance Implementation
Major University With Over 12,000 Faculty and Staff
Major university audit of a large, complex AAP comprised of 13 colleges and over 70 departments with no centralized recruiting or HR function.
Its previous audit was concluded in 2012 (started in 2010) and the auditor came on-site three times and interviewed a multitude of employees and leaders.
Arbor implemented a pre-audit preparation guide and workplan. We conducted on-site training of all leaders and HR personnel from across the University. We also revisited and refined all job groups and conducted internal compensation analyses in preparation of the audit.
Once again, the upfront preparation paid off, as the audit closed with no violations and very few questions from the Agency. It resulted in a shorter audit time frame and less expensive audit process.
Multi-state Construction Company
Positive Audit Results and Compliance Implementation
Arbor was called in after a notice of audit was received. The OFCCP already had been on-site, gathering data and information.
The organization was unaware of its compliance requirements under federal contracting construction regulations, so not all processes or procedures were in place.
Arbor’s SWAT team quickly responded to put as many necessary compliance items in place, including affirmative action documentation, before the next OFCCP on-site visit. Arbor coached HR and managers on obligations and audit preparations
Arbor was present onsite at the entrance conference, corporate review meetings, management interviews, remote construction site visits, and the exit conference – protecting the client’s interests at every turn.
OFCCP alleged 13 violations. Most were not true regulatory violations – they appeared to be OFCCP’s wish list for how construction contractors should comply, not how they must comply. The negotiation process was tense and eventually involved the OFCCP District Director, but Arbor prevailed on behalf of the client, eventually negotiating the results down to three violations, from the original 13.
Company management was thrilled with the outcome and understood that Arbor saved them from an unfair and tremendously burdensome implementation and reporting workload.
Am I Really A Federal
Major Healthcare Systems
Arbor was hired by two different large healthcare organizations to determine if either was a federal contractor and if not, what were the pros & cons to the organization of becoming one.
Working with outside counsel, Arbor investigated whether existing federal contracts/subcontracts had been entered into; interviewed staff and leadership; and reviewed HR processes and procedures. In addition, Arbor assessed the culture of the organizations to determine what changes, if any, would be necessary if the organizations were to become federal contractors. The changes were mapped out for management to absorb and study.
Neither organization was determined to be an existing federal contractor. Moving forward, with the help of Arbor’s assessment of the potential impacts on operations and culture, neither decided to pursue federal contracts.
Global Professional Services Firm
Revamping Client’s ATS To Reduce Liability
The organization’s recruiters were not trained on recent regulation changes and the ATS was not set up to minimize risks in their hiring and selection process.
Arbor partnered with the client’s Talent Acquisition leadership to train all the recruiters on the new regulations and provide tools and guidelines for on-going compliance. The organization’s ATS was revamped and the disposition codes revised to reduce risk in the recruiting processes.
With Arbor’s help, the organization reduced its risks and liability by implementing the new regulatory requirements and minimizing failure-to-hire statistical issues by revamping their ATS.
Global Automotive Organization and Non-Profit Social Welfare Organization
Swift Responses To Employee Complaints
Both organizations had received employee complaints about a hostile work environment and malfeasance on the part of leadership.
Arbor conducted an HR investigation into the complaints; interviewed employees and managers; uncovered additional issues; and provided feedback to Executive Leadership.
Both investigations were concluded without litigation and with Executive Leadership receiving needed information about the parties involved and relevant issues.
Large Healthcare System
Sexual Harassment Complaint
Senior member of the C-suite was accused of sexual harassment by several employees.
Arbor conducted an HR investigation into the complaints; interviewed appropriate employees; uncovered additional issues; and provided feedback to Executive Leadership.
The investigation was concluded without litigation; feedback was provided and appropriate action was taken.