Good Faith Efforts
Each business with a Workforce Certificate can expect to be audited at some point during its 4-year certification period. During a Workforce audit, MDHR reviews the good-faith efforts a business has made to implement its Affirmative Action Plan and achieve its Equal Employment Opportunity goals. The Department also evaluates the Certificate-holder’s compliance with Minnesota’s “Ban the Box” law (Minn. Stat. § 364.021) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Stat. Chap. 363A), particularly Minn. Stat. § 363A.36.]
Audits are structured to ensure businesses are meeting their Equal Employment Opportunity obligations and making good faith efforts toward achieving workforce diversity inclusion goals. Achieving workforce goals requires a commitment to working with contractors, sub-contractors, unions, educational institutions and the community. MDHR offers resources for contractors to assist in achieving workforce goals.
Meeting Good Faith Efforts
A contractor's good faith efforts are determined by whether it takes prompt corrective action when it becomes aware that goals are not being met.
To meet good faith effort requirements, a contractor must create and maintain an action plan, which outlines the specific steps that the contractor will take to correct disparities in its workforce. Documentation for the action steps is part of fulfilling good faith efforts; this documentation should be made available to the Department of Human Rights when requested. Additionally, a contractor must make substantially uniform progress toward meeting the workforce participation goals in order to meet the good faith effort requirement.
Minnesota Administrative Rule 5000.3470 sets forth contractor compliance and good faith efforts.
Making Good Faith Efforts
At the Facility and/or Jobsite
- Post EEO policy and anti-harassment policies prominently on employee bulletin boards and job sites. Update at least once a year with new contact information and signature of chief executive officer.
- Post all government-mandated posters (MN, federal, local) in areas available to employees and applicants and on all job sites.
- All job sites to the extent possible should be accessible to people with disabilities, specifically people with mobility impairments (restrooms, breakrooms, etc.). If all restrooms are not accessible, provide comparable facilities for people with disabilities.
- Check employee locker rooms, break rooms, restrooms, and work areas (job sites) for potentially offensive cartoons, etc.
- Include an EEO tagline or similar statement in all want ads or other external job announcements. If you post jobs on your web site, include an EEO tagline.
- Communicate to the union to ensure that the union accepts people for membership in a nondiscriminatory way and that they refer people to jobs fairly.
- Make formal and informal contact with community organizations, apprenticeship training organizations, and unions, and other recruitment organizations (specifically those organizations that focus on women, people of color, and people with disabilities) that may be able to refer qualified applicants for jobs you have available.
- Participate in construction community job fairs or other construction related events.
- When you use paid advertising, include news media or websites geared toward women, minorities, or people with disabilities.
Selection and Hiring
- Review your application form and remove any questions that are not job-related. Include an EEO statement on the form itself. Review the application to make sure no illegal/potentially illegal information is requested.
- Review EEO/Applicant tracking surveys: they should ask for necessary tracking information only and should be clearly marked as voluntary. Remove the forms from the application itself before the selection process begins.
- Make sure supervisors are using legal criteria in their hiring decisions.
- If you use any pre-employment tests (math tests, typing tests, skill tests, "personality" or "integrity" tests), these tests should directly relate to the jobs for which they're used.
Termination of Employment
- Develop a written termination policy and/or progressive discipline policy. All supervisors should implement your process consistently.
- If appropriate, conduct exit interviews or administer exit surveys.
Employee Files and Record-Keeping
- Retain all information that could reveal age, race, disability, religion, etc. as confidentially as possible. (I-9 forms, insurance forms, medical leave requests, etc.)
- An employee's file should tell the complete story of this employee's history with your company: orientation, training, performance evaluations, wage increases, promotion information, disciplinary notices, etc. All pay increases should be documented, and nondiscriminatory reasons for pay should be obvious. [Some companies create a checklist for each employee file so that they can be certain that all important documentation is retained.]
- Retain applications for at least a year. Develop an applicant flow log or similar tracking system. Make sure that you can track each applicant back to their EEO survey or affirmative action data page, if completed. (You cannot conduct a meaningful analysis of your selection process without this information.)
- All files of terminated employees should show the reason for the termination, whether voluntary or involuntary.
- Conduct training for all employees of your EEO and anti-harassment policies in safety meetings at the beginning of each project and additionally throughout the year for new hires. Emphasize reporting procedures.
- If you are required, solicit minority and female-owned businesses to participate in subcontracts or vendor contracts.