Affirmative Action Plan
· Recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting persons in all job/contractor classifications without regard to their protected category, or any other non-job related characteristics.
· Ensuring decisions regarding promotions are in accordance with equal employment opportunity requirements by imposing only valid, job related requirements for such promotions.
· Ensuring candidates representing all protected categories are reasonably recruited for job vacancies. Advertisements will not express a preference for applicants of a particular protected category.
· Ensuring related rules and procedures clearly include that there will be no discrimination on the basis of protected category status.
· This document is NOT an employment contract between Access to Counseling Services and its current employees, contractors or any future employees. However, Access to Counseling Services views the principle of equal opportunity as a vital element in the employment/contractor process and as a key to successful business.
To ensure that equal opportunity is achieved through good faith efforts Access to Counseling Services has established various levels of responsibility to both direct and oversee affirmative action efforts.
The Executive Director has been designated as the Affirmative Action Officer (AAO) for Access to Counseling Services. The AAO is responsible for monitoring affirmative Action efforts, providing equal opportunity training, and recommending the use of outside resources, where applicable. An Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Committee (EEO/ AAP) may be created if deemed necessary to assist the AAO in matters of overseeing affirmative action efforts.
Administration is responsible for ensuring that their employment decisions comply with the principles embodied in Access to Counseling Services Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement and with all State and federal laws. (see aforementioned AAO for questions regarding compliance)
Each employee/contractor is responsible for bringing to the attention of administration or the AAO, any employment decision that he or she feels conflicts with the Access to Counseling Services Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement, or with the law.
As affirmed in the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement preceding this Foreword, administration and EEOC Officer bear the final responsibility for ensuring that equal employment and affirmative action receive a sufficient level of attention.
SECTION IIl - DESIGNATION OF RESPONSIBILITY
The Access to Counseling Service’s Executive Director is responsible for the implementation and administration of the AAP. As the chief administrator of the AAP, the Executive Director will delegate to any responsible party within the organization the authority and responsibility for carrying out this plan.
As specified in the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement, the Affirmative Action Officer charged with the administrative responsibility for ensuring compliance in all Access to Counseling Services appointed employment/contracting activities. In fulfilling these responsibilities the AAO will:
· Serve as liaison between Access to Counseling Services and outside regulatory/enforcement agencies;
· Prepare/review the AAP annually;
· Review, or ensure the review of, all employee hiring and promotion activities prior to job offers and offers of contract prior to signing being for compliance purposes;
· Chair Access to Counseling Services Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Committee (EEO/AAC), should one become necessary
· Require all Access to Counseling Services staff, administration and contractors to complete discrimination training within the first calendar month of employment/contract and annually thereafter;
· Disseminate AAP statement, per the dissemination plan to all employees/contractors annually;
· Recommend affirmative action plans to additional administrators (COO);
· Monitor personnel/contractor actions and determine the degree to which goals and objectives have been attained;
· Should an Affirmative Action Committee be deemed necessary, the goals/responsibilities of such include:
· Monitoring equal employment opportunity and affirmative action efforts at Access to Counseling Services
· Advising the AAO of needs and problems, that may occur with equal employment opportunity and affirmative action;
· Implementing specific aspects of the AAP;
· Developing policy statements, affirmative action program efforts, and internal and external communications;
· Assisting administration with solutions to identified problem areas;
· Ensuring education and training programs provide equal access to all employees/contractors as we give employees/contractors the skills to make sound decisions without regard to protected status.
SECTION IV -INDENTIFICATION OF POTENTIAL PROBLEM AREAS
The Executive Director will conduct a thorough analysis of personnel practices (hiring, promoting, demoting, terminating, contracting) annually. Potential problems shall be identified, goals will be established, and affirmative actions will be taken as deemed appropriate.
The following Analyses will be conducted:
A Workforce Analysis -Executive Director will conduct a workforce analysis to identify employees by job title, gender and race.
A Workforce Analysis-Executive Director will conduct a workforce analysis to identify contractors by contracting duty, gender and race.
Personnel Activity Analysis - AAO will conduct an analysis of the applicant flow, hires, promotions, contracts and terminations which occur in the annual reporting period.
Compensation Systems Analysis - AAO will conduct a compensation analysis, comparing the mean salaries for men and women as well as by race/ethnicity. Seniority will be considered when conducting this analysis.
SECTION V - ACTION ORIENTED PROGRAMS
Access to Counseling shall implement several action-oriented programs to help prevent potential problem areas.
A yearly review of all agency job descriptions/contractor descriptions shall be conducted by the Executive Director and administration, to ensure descriptions accurately reflect the functions of the contract/position described, and do not discriminate against any class of individuals.
When new positions/contracts are established, job requirements shall be reviewed to ensure academic qualifications, and skills do not discriminate against protected classes.
Job/contract descriptions shall be made available upon request to the Executive Director
Job/contract openings may be advertised in the following manner(s):
· Advertising the .job opening, in area newspapers
· Posting job/contract opening on organizations webpage
· Posting job/contract opening within main office
· Posting job/contract opening on various web-based message boards
· Posting job/contract opening at local employment offices
· Post job/contract opening at area colleges or educational facilities;
· Advertising in various minority publications;
· Advertising in bilingual and/or Spanish publications.
The Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) and policies related to equal employment opportunities are considered to be open records available for inspection. The AAO shall take steps to ensure the plan is available for review. Some of the methods which shall be utilized are:
· Internal Dissemination
· The AAP shall be on the Agency website and notice of its availability shall be given to all staff/contractors upon hire or upon contract signing by Executive Director.
· Any supplemental affirmative action information will be provided in each staff/contractor’s agency box and/or on organizational webpage.
· The AAP may be viewed at: Access to Counseling Services main office
· Access to Counseling Services affirmative action efforts shall be incorporated into new employee/contractor orientation and various trainings held throughout the year.
· The AAP shall be on the ACCESS TO COUNSELING SERVICES website:
· When advertising job openings all ACCESS TO COUNSELING SERVICES ads will end with the statement: Access to Counseling Services is a EOE/AA employer
· The AAP shall be available by request from the: Executive Director, either by email, fax, or mail.
SECTION VI - REPORTING AND INTERNAL AUDITING
The Affirmative Action Officer has the responsibility for developing and preparing the formal documents of the AAP: The Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for the effective implementation of the AAP; however, each administrator also has responsibility to the AAP. Access to Counseling Services’ compliance process is designed to:
· Monitor the effectiveness of the AAP/EEO program;
· Monitor records of all personnel activities, including transfers, promotions, terminations and compensation at all levels and monitor records or contractors;
· Identify problem areas where remedial action is needed;
· Determine the degree to which Access to Counseling Services AAP goals and objectives have been obtained;
· Review results with administrators;
· Advise administrators of program effectiveness and submit recommendations for improvement.
The following documents will be maintained and retained from this date forward (in accordance with legal statutes):
· Employment applications;
· Records pertaining to Access to Counseling Services’ pay scale system;
· Personnel files for current and past agency employees or contractors,
· Advertisements for Access to Counseling Services’ employment or contractor opportunities
SECTION VII - DEFINITION OF TERMS
Affirmative Action: Actions, policies, and procedures to be undertaken by Access to Counseling Services in recruiting, hiring, promotion, contracting and all other personnel actions that are designed to create equal employment opportunity, and if present eliminate effects of past discrimination. Affirmative action may require: (1) thorough, systematic efforts to prevent discrimination from occurring or to detect and eliminate it as promptly as possible; and (2) recruitment and outreach measures.
Affirmative Action Officer (AAO): designee responsible for monitoring affirmative action efforts, coordination equal opportunity training, and recommending the use of outside resources, where applicable. Charged with administrative responsibility for ensuring compliance in both elected and appointed departmental employment activities, contracting opportunities, this individual also functions as Access to Counseling Services’ custodian of employment/contractor records, ensuring that all reporting requirements necessary to comply with the Affirmative Action Plan are met.
Affirmative Action Plan (AAP): detailed set of objectives and plans designed to achieve prompt and full utilization of minorities and women at all levels and in all areas of the covered work force.
Applicant: Any individual who completes and submits a completed job application seeking employment or individual seeking to contract with the organization
Disability: individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. One who has a record of, or is known to have, such impairment. And also, one who is regarded as having such impairment.
Discrimination: illegal treatment of a person or group of persons based on race, sex, or membership in another protected class.
Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Committee (EEO/AAC): Chaired by the AAO.
The EEOC Officer: Responsible for monitoring equal employment opportunity and affirmative action efforts at Access to Counseling Services.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): federal commission which handles discrimination and harassment complaints, investigations, and legal action on behalf of employees.
SECTION VIII - FEDERAL LAWS INFLUENCING AND REGULATING AAP:
· Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
· Prohibits employers of 20 or more persons from discriminating against persons age 40 and over in any area of employment on account of age. Complaints are investigated by the EEOC.
· Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
· Targets discrimination against the disabled in employment (Title I), public services and transportation, and public accommodations and services operated by private entities. The main focus of Title I of the ADA is to prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. A "qualified individual with a disability" is "an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires."
· Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 USC 1981)
· This law, known as section 1981, guarantees all persons the same right to make and enforce contracts that "white citizens" enjoy. Race is covered but gender and
· religion are not. .
· Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964 (As Amended by the EEO Act, 1972) Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. Covers all employers with 15 or more persons, all educational institutions, both public and private, state and local governments, public and private agencies, labor unions with one or more members and joint labor-management committees for apprenticeship and training. Prohibits practices identified by statistically determined adverse impact as well as intentional unequal treatment.
· Decisions concerning hiring, placement, training, promotion, termination, contracting and layoff are covered.
· Title VIII established the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to enforce the law. The amendment in 1972 enables the EEOC to enforce Title VII trough court action.
· Civil Rights Act of 1991 (ERA)
· Provides additional remedies and protection, in addition to those previously available under Title VII, to applicants, employees, and former employees who contend they are victims of employment discrimination.
· Equal Pay Act of 1963
· Requires that all employers, subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act provide equal pay for men and women performing work substantially similar in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, unless wage differentials are due to bona fide systems of seniority or some business factor other than gender.
· Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
· Eligible employees are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of leave during the fiscal-year for the birth of a child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, an employee's health condition, or caring for a spouse, child or parent with a verifiable serious health condition.
· Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended)
· This act is designed to promote the employment of disabled individuals. It bans discrimination on the basis of visible and non-visible disabilities which substantially limit one or more major life activities. Further, employers must actively pursue opportunities to employ qualified disabled individuals and modify their facilities to accommodate them. Disabled individuals are defined as persons who have a record of physical or mental impairment, history of alcoholism, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and other diseases.
· Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended The law requires that employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts of $25,000 or more provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.