By DONOVAN HARRELL
An audit from the U.S. Department of Labor identified several violations regarding Pitt’s faculty recruiting and recordkeeping practices.
These violations were outlined in a redacted conciliation agreement between the University and the Labor Department, released at the beginning of June.
The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) began evaluating the University on Feb. 5, 2016, and the Notice of Violation was issued on March 29.
There were eight specific violations named in the report, with most of them related to recordkeeping. All but one violation occurred from Nov. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015.
Violations ranged from failing “to collect and maintain personnel and employment records for a period of not less than two years” to “failing to develop and implement an auditing system that periodically measures the effectiveness of its total affirmative action program.”
“Compliance reviews like this one are a good thing. They allow for an outside perspective and reinforce the importance of conducting all searches in an equitable manner and retaining all records for three years.”
Violation 4, the only one to take place after 2015, said the University “failed to immediately list all employment openings with either the state workforce agency job bank or a local employment service delivery system serving the location where the openings occurred.”
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Pam Connelly said in email that the University is taking the review seriously and, so far, has worked to resolve the issues outlined.
“It’s important to note that the OFCCP’s determination addressed technical or record-keeping concerns — it found no discrimination in any of the University’s personnel processes regarding faculty or staff or in compensation,” Connelly said. “The review also shows the University made good faith efforts to ensure equitable employment processes. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Human Resources are in the process of implementing revised record-keeping processes that address the findings, and Pitt voluntarily agreed to report its progress to OFCCP.”
Connelly added that audits such as this one aren’t necessarily bad news.
“Compliance reviews like this one are a good thing,” Connelly said. “They allow for an outside perspective and reinforce the importance of conducting all searches in an equitable manner and retaining all records for three years. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion encourages all departments to utilize best practices in hiring decisions and can assist departments if they have process questions. In addition, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers a session titled ‘Searching for Diversity and Excellence’ which can provide guidance and tools to hiring managers and committees.”
To address these and the other violations, according to the agreement, Pitt will be required to provide the OFCCP with two annual progress reports, the first being due a year from the effective date of March 29 and will cover the 10-month period of time beginning on the effective date.
The second report will cover the following 10 months, then must be mailed within 60 days after the close of that 10-month period. The conciliation agreement also included outlined remedies for each violation, which will require Pitt to adjust its recordkeeping processes for faculty applicants, new hires and other employment records.
Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-383-9905.