OFCCP Makes CSAL List Supplement Publicly Available

Wondering whether your organization has been selected for an upcoming audit as part of OFCCP’s recent Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letter (CSAL) list supplement?  Well, wonder no more.  OFCCP has made publicly available its most recent CSAL supplement as well as the two...

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Breaking News: OFCCP Releases Compliance Transparency and Ombud Service Directives

There is no rest for the weary at OFCCP.  Continuing the steady flow of Directives and proposals as well as audits coming out of Washington D.C., the Agency has released two additional directives in furtherance of the Administration’s commitment to transparency...

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VA national cemeteries welcome nonprofit volunteers providing tree-and landscape-care services

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that its National Cemetery Administration is partnering with more than 2,000 green-industry professionals across the country Sept. 19 to host 'Saluting Branches: Arborists United for Veteran Remembrance,' an opportunity for...

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VA SAIL report scorecard shows majority of VA medical centers have improved over past year in quality of services provided to Veterans

WASHINGTON - Using a web-based report scorecard that measures, evaluates and benchmarks quality and efficiency at its medical centers, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently released data that showed significant improvements at the majority of its health care...

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VA achieves historic goal by delivering 81,000 appeals decisions to Veterans in fiscal 2018

WASHINGTON - On Sept. 14, two weeks ahead of schedule, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) exceeded its goal to deliver 81,000 appeals decisions of disability benefits and services to Veterans in fiscal year 2018 - 28,000 more decisions...

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President signs bill into law requiring VA to hire 50 outreach specialists to support Veterans involved in justice system

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it is ready to hire an additional 50 Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) specialists following President Trump's signing today of the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act of 2018, a new law shoring...

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Veterans gather in San Diego for VA's 11th annual Summer Sports Clinic

WASHINGTON - About 120 Veterans from across the country were expected to participate in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) 11th National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in Southern California, which began Sept. 16.

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OFCCP Seeks to Favorably Tweak Requirements to Encourage Contractors to Consider Functional Affirmative Action Plans

Has your organization ever considered switching from “establishment” AAPs to functional affirmative action plans (“FAAPs”)?  OFCCP wants contractors to consider moving to FAAPs and, in that spirit, is looking to make FAAPs more attractive by proposing new FAAP requirements that would lighten...

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Complimentary Webinar: What You Need to Know About OFCCP’s New Compensation Directive

It’s been a little more than two weeks since OFCCP released its new Compensation Directive.  While we don’t yet have answers to all of the questions surrounding the Directive, we do have thoughts about what will likely change, and what...

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VA implements new fiduciary regulations

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently updated regulations related to how it governs the oversight of beneficiaries, who, because of injury, disease, or age, are unable to manage their VA benefits, and the appointment and oversight of fiduciaries...

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Additional Information on OFCCP’s Latest Round of CSALs

As we reported last week, OFCCP has released a supplemental list of contractors who have been selected for audit by the Agency.  In addition to release information about the supplemental list of CSALs, OFCCP also published a new FAQ addressing requests...

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VA to fund first national center of excellence for Veteran and caregiver research

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will fund a new center of excellence to expand the department's capacity to deliver innovative, data-driven and integrated approaches to improve services for Veterans and their caregivers.

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BREAKING NEWS: OFCCP Issues New Round of CSALs

OFCCP has been busy, and they are not slowing down.  Today, OFCCP issued an additional 750 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to federal contractors providing advance notification of compliance reviews, in order to make sure the district and area offices...

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VA releases data on vacancies as required under MISSION Act

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released its figures on employment vacancies as of June 30, as mandated each quarter under the recently passed MISSION Act.

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VA announces upcoming awards of nearly $326M in grants to help at-risk Veterans and family members

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that thousands of low-income Veteran families around the nation will continue to receive benefits under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

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OFCCP’s New Compensation Directive – What Does it Really Mean For Contractors?

There’s been a lot of discussion in past days about OFCCP’s new Compensation Directive, which describes the Agency’s approach to investigating pay discrimination.  We’ve spent some time digging into the details of the directive.  We’ve previously shared our thoughts about the Directive’s...

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VA General Counsel Jim Byrne named VA Acting Deputy Secretary

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that its General Counsel, Jim Byrne, has been named Acting Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs effective Aug. 28.

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VA announces $200M in funding for Grant and Per Diem Program to support homeless Veterans programs nationwide

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it plans to provide approximately $200 million in fiscal year 2019 funding to support more than 13,000 transitional housing beds for its Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program.

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VA expands Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program to improve service to Veterans: Hiring effort underway to reduce counselor-to-caseload ratio

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E) recently began the process of reducing the average counselor-to-caseload ratio, to one to 125 or below, through the hiring of 172 vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs).

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OFCCP to Recognize Innovative Contractors and Establish Peer Mentoring Program

The third of the three Directives OFCCP issued last Friday, Directive 2018-06 “Contractor Recognition Program” announces a program by which OFCCP will recognize contractors with “high-quality and high-performing compliance programs and initiatives.” Recognition is one of the four themes Acting Director Leen...

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New OFCCP Initiative to Ensure Contractors Timely Prepare and Update AAPs

As we announced Friday, OFCCP has issued three new Directives in furtherance of its efforts to make the Agency more transparent and efficient.  New Directive 2018-07 “Affirmative Action Program Verification Initiative,” is aimed at expanding OFCCP’s enforcement reach and was previewed by Acting...

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New Compensation Directive Promises Transparency

By Laura A. Mitchell, Elizabeth P. Hernandez, and Suzanne Donnelly Corwin Late last week OFCCP released a new Directive detailing the Agency’s approach to investigating pay discrimination.  Directive 2018-05 applies to all OFCCP reviews scheduled on or after August 24, 2018,...

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Secretary Wilkie Statement on the Passing of Senator John McCain

On behalf our nation's Veterans, we are all saddened by the passing of one of America's great warriors. Senator John McCain's life of courage and sacrifice continued a legacy of selfless service begun by his family over one hundred years...

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BREAKING NEWS: OFCCP Issues New Compensation Directive

It’s here!  OFCCP has finally issued its long-awaited, much-anticipated, new compensation directive.  The Directive explicitly replaces the controversial Directive 307 and sets out the Agency’s current approach, and commitment to transparency, with respect to pay equity analyses. Directive 2018-05: Analysis of Contractor Compensation...

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Appeals Modernization: VA's Progress One Year Since Enactment of the Historic Law

Today marks one year since President Donald J. Trump signed into law one of the most significant statutory changes in decades to affect the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Veterans it serves. The Veterans Appeals Improvement and...

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VA Secretary clarifies collective bargaining authority related to professional conduct, patient care

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie clarified that unions can no longer use collective bargaining rights when it comes to professional conduct and patient care by VA providers. Specifically, Secretary Wilkie has...

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At White House, VA Secretary underscores low unemployment for Veterans under President Trump

In his first White House Cabinet Meeting as Secretary of Veterans Affairs yesterday, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie underscored for President Donald Trump and the public how the President's policies have led to near-record-low unemployment rates for America's Veterans. Asked by...

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VA, Walgreens collaborate to improve care coordination for Veterans

WASHINGTON - As part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) efforts to improve care coordination for Veterans, the department is working with pharmacy services provider Walgreens to coordinate patient and pharmaceutical care for VA-enrolled patients.

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Veterans ‘TEE' up for 25th anniversary golf tournament sponsored by VA & DAV

WASHINGTON - More than 200 Veterans with visual impairments, severe illness or injury are set to tee up for the 2018 National Disabled Veterans Training, Exposure and Experience (TEE) Tournament, which will take place Sept. 9-14 near Iowa City, Iowa.

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OFCCP Issues Directive Regarding Religious Freedom

As we reported last week, in light of three Supreme Court cases addressing religious freedoms, OFCCP has issued a new Directive 2018-3 and a press release regarding “religion-exercising” organizations and individuals. The Directive sites three recent Supreme Court cases as...

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VA updates the disability rating schedule related to skin conditions

Effective Aug. 13, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) updated portions of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD, or Rating Schedule) that evaluate conditions related to the skin.

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VA announces leadership changes to take effect shortly

Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced several leadership changes that will take effect shortly. These leadership changes will build upon a strong current team that will continue to carry out the priorities of President Trump and newly...

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OFCCP Focused Reviews to Begin in Fiscal Year 2019

In the Directive released late last week, OFCCP announced its plan to start scheduling focused reviews starting in Fiscal Year 2019.  OFCCP’s fiscal year begins October 1. Directive 2018-04 directs OFCCP staff to “work towards ensuring that a portion of future...

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OFCCP Issues Two New Directives Addressing Focused Reviews and Religious Discrimination

As discussed during the 2018 ILG National Conference, Acting Director Craig Leen has released a Directive formalizing OFCCP’s plans to start initiating focused reviews.  Acting Director Leen, simultaneously released a Directive addressing religious discrimination – a topic not broadly (or otherwise)...

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VA releases health care benefit application for Spanish-speaking Veterans

WASHNGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released the Spanish version of the application for health benefits, as part of VA's effort to simplify and improve the health care enrollment process for Veterans.

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Annual VETS Reporting Portal Open

Even though it feels as thought we are still in the midst of summer, the time is here for annual VETS-4212 reporting.  The portal is now open for the 2018 filing season which started on August 1, 2018 and ends on...

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Secretary Wilkie meets with leaders at Washington DC VA Medical Center: Receives update on progress and game plan for facility improvements in Veterans' care

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie visited the Washington DC VA Medical Center (VAMC), where he met with facility and regional leaders and received updates on recent progress in Veterans' care and plans for further improvements...

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OFCCP Working on Contractor Certification Program

Following the tone of the preceding days, the 2018 ILG National Conference closed Friday morning with a friendly conversation between Acting Director Craig Leen and NILG Chair Paul McGovern.  The two discussed several of the themes and OFCCP initiatives addressed during the conference: Transparency,...

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OFCCP Acting Director Shares His Vision for Upcoming Agency Initiatives

Day two of the 2018 ILG National Conference has concluded and it was another day packed with information and insights for attendees. Riding the “waves of change”, over the past two days OFCCP and officials from the U.S. Department of...

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Forever GI Bill expands VA educational benefits

WASHINGTON - Effective Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented 15 more provisions of the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the Forever GI Bill.

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OFCCP Releases Description of “What Contractors Can Expect”

It has been a busy morning on the first day of the 2018 ILG National Conference in Anaheim, California.  After a dramatic and moving opening presentation, OFCCP Acting Director Craig Leen gave the morning’s Keynote address.  Echoing the conference’s “Navigating the...

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BREAKING NEWS: Head of OFCCP Reported to Be Stepping Down

With confirmation from a Department of Labor spokesperson, Bloomberg News is reporting that Ondray Harris will soon be leaving his role as OFCCP Director.  While the reason for his departure was not disclosed, Bloomberg is reporting he will be stepping down from...

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President Trump selects Jake Leinenkugel to lead VA commission focused on Veterans' mental health treatment

Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that President Donald J. Trump has selected former VA White House Senior Advisor Thomas 'Jake' Leinenkugel to lead a key commission focused on the department's mental health care programs.

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VA implementing presidential executive order governing union activities during official work hours

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced it has begun implementing a recent presidential executive order (EO), which offered new guidelines for how union officials use work hours when representing federal employees.

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VA and IBM Watson Health Extend Partnership to Support Veterans With Cancer

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and IBM Watson Health announced the extension of a public-private partnership to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to help interpret cancer data in the treatment of Veteran patients.

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VEText system transforming VA's medical scheduling process

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently launched VEText, a text messaging appointment-reminder system, which to date has helped VA reduce no-show medical visits by more than 100,000.

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VA Establishes Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization to Support Transition From Legacy Patient Data System

WASHINGTON - Focused on ensuring a successful transition from a legacy patient data system, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the recent establishment of the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM).

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VA's Board of Veterans' Appeals Using Innovative Tools to Make a Record Number of Decisions

WASHINGTON - Strengthened by innovative tools, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently issued a record number of decisions for Veterans appealing their disability benefits claims.

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VA Partnership with National Cancer Institute Will Boost Veteran Access to Clinical Trials

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has formed a partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) which will provide more access to the latest treatment options for VA patients with cancer.

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Aimed at Suicide Prevention, VA Shares Winners of Its ‘Gun Safety Matters Challenge'

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently selected three winners in its Gun Safety Matters Challenge, an open-innovation contest to develop cost-effective solutions for firearm storage, which Veterans and their families or friends could use to prevent...

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VA's new ‘ChooseVA' campaign highlights Veteran benefits and services, aims to attract and retain employees

WASHINGTON - Emphasizing a multitude of benefits and services to its 9 million Veteran customers, as well as promoting the organization as a great place to work, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) kicked off its new 'ChooseVA' marketing...

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VA Releases State-level Veteran Suicide Data, National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released state-level Veteran suicide data today as a follow-up to its 2015 National Suicide Data Report, which was released on June 18

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Award-winning VA video series, The American Veteran, receives 2017 regional Emmy Award

WASHINGTON - A video story produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - focusing on a Navy Veteran and comedian who recovered from a possible career-ending stroke in 2016 with the help of VA doctors and therapists - received...

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Modern Healthcare Magazine Recognizes VA's Top Physician as one of 2018's 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) top physician, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, who leads VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA), was named by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of 2018's 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders in an...

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Latest Merger News: Proposal to Merge Departments of Labor and Education

Early in the Trump Administration, it was proposed to move OFCCP into the EEOC.  Congress subsequently rejected the budget proposal containing the proposed merger and the idea was put to rest. Not to give up it’s quest to streamline the Administration and propose budget-saving measures, the Administration recently...

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Nine VA Programs Receive Awards for Innovation in Health IT

Nine U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs were recently recognized for outstanding innovations in federal health technology at an awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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VA Provides Reorganization Plan to Strengthen and Modernize Department

WASHINGTON - Today the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced specific recommendations in the President's 'Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century' - Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations.'

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VA Showcases New Medical Advancements in Veteran Care on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Office of Research and Development hosted a Research Fair at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill to share new medical advancements in improving health care and quality of...

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VA Releases National Suicide Data Report

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released findings from its most recent analysis of Veteran suicide data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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