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Joanna Colosimo

Joanna Colosimo, M.A.

Director of EEO Compliance
Associate Principal Consultant
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Joanna Colosimo is an Associate Principal Consultant with DCI, where she provides guidance and litigation support to clients regarding employment discrimination statutes and regulations, equal employment reporting guidelines, affirmative action planning, testing and selection procedures, statistical analyses, and other related services. Additionally, Joanna manages a team of consultants and analysts who consult with Federal contractors and subcontractors on OFCCP compliance requirements.

Joanna has extensive experience working with Fortune 1000 clients to conduct and interpret complex adverse impact, utilization, and systemic compensation discrimination analyses in the equal employment opportunity context. Often, these analyses are conducted in response to formal high-stakes investigations initiated by Federal EEO enforcement agencies (e.g., OFCCP and EEOC). Joanna has vast experience in assisting clients with strategically defining their compliance programs and mitigating risk across industries and institutions of higher education.

Prior to joining DCI, Joanna worked on the creation and implementation of compliance programs in the private sector. Her background is primarily focused on the management and execution of Affirmative Action and serving as project manager for the validation of corporate-wide selection testing. Joanna has served as the on-site expert for adverse impact, validation, quality of hire, and employment analytics. She also has familiarity with implementation and analysis of organizational development programs such as job satisfaction, quality of work life programming, and organizational justice.

Working in the field of industrial and organizational psychology since 2006, Joanna writes articles on current OFCCP events which are distributed to the contractor community through the OFCCP Blog Spot. In addition, Joanna creates online web trainings for Federal contractors and subcontractors, presents webinars/teleconferences on OFCCP regulations, and prepares white papers, all available or released by DCI or the OFCCP Institute. Joanna earned a M.A. degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Radford University in Radford, VA, and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Psychology from Roanoke College in Salem, VA, and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.

Joanna Colosimo ’s Recent Posts

A private compensation discrimination case alleging Allsteel discriminated against three former female managers in pay was brought to the attention of the Eighth Circuit Court.  The court’s ruling on Dindinger v. Allsteel, Inc. deemed OFCCP’s compliance audit results, which were in favor of the defendant, to be inadmissible as evidence in the trial. The circuit court’s rationale was that OFCCP’s findings might ‘unfairly prejudice’ the jury instead of allowing them to make an independent evaluation of whether the three female managers were paid less than men.

It is important to note that administrative findings by other government agencies have been found to be inadmissible in a number of cases. OFCCP’s audit findings have rarely been presented as evidence in court.  This ruling might set a precedent for the future, especially in jury trials concerning disparate treatment.

Another noteworthy discussion in this case was the use of economic conditions as defense to explain pay differences between female plaintiffs and their male counterparts. Allsteel presented evidence that the company had experienced negative effects because of the economic recession in 2008, resulting in company-wide employee layoffs and freezes on pay raises. The court rejected this argument, mainly because Allsteel failed to offer evidence specifically on how the recession may have caused the plaintiffs to be paid less than men.

For additional information on this case, click here.

By Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance, and Vinaya Sakpal, HR Analyst, at DCI Consulting Group 

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Today, April 4, 2017, people across the United States will observe a national day to bring awareness around the gender pay gap. This date symbolizes how far into 2017 women must work to earn what men made in 2016, based on national pay averages.

On Equal Pay Day in 2014, President Obama signed an executive order to strengthen pay transparency for federal contractors.

In observance of Equal Pay Day, it is important to be mindful by evaluating compensation systems in organizations.  Conducting a proactive pay equity study to ensure disparities by both sex and race are due to legitimate factors is imperative for organizations.  Also, exploring proactive analytics such as a Shareholder Wage Gap study can assist organizations who may feel pressure from outside groups to release wage gap information.

 By Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance at DCI Consulting Group 

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DCI has confirmed with OFCCP that a new round of CSAL letters were officially mailed as of February 17th. The letters were sent directly to establishments and “Frequently Asked Questions” resources have been updated on the Department of Labor’s website regarding the FCSS and CSALs.

Specifically, in referencing OFCCP’s CSAL and FCSS FAQs, we note the following new or revised FAQs:

  • Will the corporate headquarters of establishments on the scheduling list receive a CSAL?
    • No. CSALs are mailed to all establishments identified on the scheduling lists developed for a given scheduling cycle. Unlike previous years, OFCCP will not send notice to a corporation’s headquarters. Instead, the CSAL directs the establishment to forward the notice to corporate headquarters, if such is corporate policy.

Unlike previous years, OFCCP will not send notices to a corporation’s headquarters. CSALs will be mailed directly to all establishments on the scheduling lists with the direction that these notices be forwarded on to corporate headquarters. Other FAQs include:

  • How many establishments are on the current Scheduling List?
    • There are a total of 800 establishments on this first release of the FY 2017 Scheduling List.
  • How many industries are represented on the current Scheduling List?
    • Based on the 2–digit NAICS code, the first release of the FY 2017 Scheduling List covers 29 industries.
  • How many companies are represented on the current Scheduling List?
    • 375 distinct companies are represented on the first release of the FY 2017 Scheduling List.
  • How many Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations (CMCE) are included in the current Scheduling List?
    • The first release of the FY 2017 Scheduling List includes 30 CMCEs.

It’s important to note that 800 letters were sent, but those letters are only covering 375 companies. This means that some companies will receive multiple letters for multiple establishments. It’s also important to note that organizations may receive a corporate management evaluation letter at their headquarter facility. DCI is trending the 29 industries that are receiving CSALs and will provide updates as we learn more.

One additional point worth mentioning is that OFCCP clarified that a contractor’s establishment may be selected for a review outside of those listed on the CSAL by a Directed Review. The FAQ states that “these compliance evaluations may be scheduled by OFCCP when it receives credible information of an alleged violation of a law or regulations the agency enforces, including those deriving from individual of class complaints filed with the EEOC, or state or local fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs) that allege employment discrimination covered under the laws that OFCCP enforces.”

Corporate compliance officials should contact local HR representatives at their company’s facilities to ensure they are aware a letter from OFCCP may be coming in the next few days. Additionally, they should be aware that there may be a CMCE letter coming to their corporate headquarters.

By Rachel Monroe, HR Analyst; David Cohen, President; and Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance, at DCI Consulting Group 

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Last week, a Bush administration attorney, Nicholas Geale, was quietly named the Acting Solicitor of Labor.  His name and contact information has been updated on the DOL key personnel website as both the Acting and Deputy Solicitor.

Geale previously served in the Department of Labor under President George W. Bush.  His appointment occurs as Andrew Puzder withdrew for consideration for the Secretary of Labor, and as Alex Acosta’s confirmation is pending.

By Joanna Colosimo, Director of EEO Compliance at DCI Consulting Group

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LexisNexis Risk Solutions, the computer-assisted legal research service, will pay over $1.2 million to resolve systemic pay discrimination against women after the result of two OFCCP compliance reviews in the southeast region.

The company settled with OFCCP to resolve two separate compliance investigations located in Georgia and Florida, impacting 26 female employees in Operational Leadership jobs in Boca Raton, Florida, as well as 185 female employees in Operational Leadership jobs in an Alpharetta, Georgia review. The OFCCP press release alludes to using statistical analyses to control for legitimate factors prior to determining the females were paid less than their male counterparts. It is important to note that LexisNexis did not admit liability, but did agree to pay the $1.2 million in back pay and interest, $45,000 in salary adjustments, and also agreed to monitoring compensation practices that could impact women.

By Joanna Colosimo, Director, EEO Compliance

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On January 9, 2017, Governor Cuomo of New York proposed a progressive agenda for the state which included signing two state Executive Orders designed to eliminate the wage gap.

New York Executive Order 161 prohibits asking applicants about their current compensation or prior compensation history until an offer has been extended.

  • Prior compensation information shall not be relied upon to determine salary (unless required by CBA or law).

New York Executive Order 162 requires state contracts and procurements issued after June 1, 2017 in excess of $25,000 to include detailed workforce utilization reports that include job title and salary of employees working on state contracts, or the entire workforce, on a quarterly basis.  If the contract is $100,000 or more, the reports should be filed on a monthly basis.

Stay tuned for more information from DCI on the new state requirements.

By Joanna Colosimo, Associate Principal Consultant, DCI Consulting Group

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For those interested in adverse impact analysis, we strongly recommend reading the new book Adverse Impact Analysis – Understanding Data, Statistics, and Risk. The book, co-edited by Dr. Scott Morris (Illinois Institute of Technology) and our own Dr. Eric Dunleavy, who leads the Personnel Selection and Litigation Support Services Group at DCI, brings together diverse perspectives on disparity analysis, spanning work from statistics, industrial/organizational psychology, human resource management, labor economics, and law. Scott and Eric provide a comprehensive and integrated summary of current practices in the field of EEO analytics, and have assembled a group of over 30 expert chapter authors to share their perspectives. Throughout, the description of methods is grounded in the legal context and current trends in employment litigation and the practices of federal regulatory agencies.

The book provides guidance on all phases of disparity analysis, including:

  • How to structure diverse and complex employment data for disparity analysis
  • How to conduct both basic and advanced statistical analyses on employment outcomes related to employee selection, promotion, compensation, termination, and other employment outcomes
  • How to interpret results in terms of both practical and statistical significance
  • Common practical challenges and pitfalls in disparity analysis and strategies to deal with these issues

For more information on this book and to order a copy, please visit here. If you are looking for that perfect, last minute, holiday gift for the statistician or committed EEO practitioner in your life…we hope this is just the right fit!

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As most of our blog readers are aware, the final FAR rule and DOL guidance was published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2016 implementing President Obama’s issued Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (FPSW). Although the goal behind this executive order was to “blacklist” organizations with a history of violating labor and employment laws from obtaining new government contracts, it appears, based on the final rule, that the FPSW was designed more to allow OFCCP to coerce current contractors into signing conciliation agreements than it was to prevent actual discrimination.

Perhaps the best example of this motivation is the difference in how the FPSW classifies conciliation agreements as non-arbitral decisions compared to show cause notices (SCNs) which are arbitral decisions: conciliation agreements do not count against a contractor but SCNs do.  Let’s compare two hypothetical contractors. Contractor A has engaged in intentional discrimination against women at five of its establishments.  Rather than go to court, it enters into five separate conciliation agreements with OFCCP, each for $250,000.

Contractor B is accused by OFCCP of pay discrimination against women at two of its AAP establishments. The company vehemently denies the allegation and provides statistical and anecdotal proof that the group differences in pay at both establishments can be explained by variables such as time-in-job and prior related experience. OFCCP refuses to accept the contractor’s analysis and issues an SCN at each establishment. Two years later, OFCCP and Solicitor of Labor’s office determine that the case is without merit and OFCCP closes the review with a closure letter of compliance. Eighteen months after the conciliation agreements and SCNs, both contractors bid for the same contract.  Contractor A, which entered into five separate conciliation agreements, is considered by the contracting officer to have no reportable violations in its record whereas Contractor B, which denies any wrongdoing and was never found in violation, has two reportable violations on its record.

This policy also appears inconsistent with the criminal history guidelines issued by both EEOC and OFCCP.  That is, an applicant’s arrest record (e.g., a contractor’s SCN) should not be used in a hiring decision, but convictions or confessions (e.g., a contractor’s conciliation agreement) can.  The rationale behind not using an arrest record is that an arrest does not account for due process; in other words, it is not a final determination by a neutral judge or jury of guilt or innocence.  An SCN is almost equivalent to an arrest; it does not necessarily mean the contractor has been granted due process with a final determination of a neutral party.

By David Cohen, President; Mike Aamodt, Principal Consultant; and Joanna Colosimo, Associate Principal Consultant at DCI Consulting Group 

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The 34th Annual Conference for the National Industry Liaison Group was held August 2-5, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. This conference brings together members of the federal contractor community, including practitioners, employers, and OFCCP/EEOC officials. The main focus on this year’s conference was around compensation equity in light of proposed changes to the EEO-1 report, enforcement activity priorities, the socio-political climate, and the abundance of state equal pay laws being passed. One of the most intriguing sessions was presented by EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic, who did not advocate or vote for the increased burdens represented by the new pay addition to the EEO-1 report. Commissioner Lipnic did not believe that the proposed regulations would cause significant change on the gender wage gap. She noted that the benefits of pay data collection in the format prescribed by the EEO-1 report were outweighed by the burden the data collection placed on contractors.

DCI Consulting Group staff members were well represented in a number of high profile presentations and also attended a variety of other sessions. Notable session summaries and highlights can be found below.

Things You Didn’t Think Were a Selection Test: Practical Selection for Federal Contractors

This session clarified what types of employment procedures are considered “tests” and provided practical guidelines to create valid selection tools and procedures. The audience left the session with a firm understanding of what constitutes a selection test, strategies for creating successful tests, as well as practical implementation take-aways.

Presenters: Joanna Colosimo (DCI Consulting Group), Laura Fields (Wells Fargo), Shannon Kobus (Monster Gov’t Solutions), Kristen Pryor (ICF)

Update on Contemporary OFCCP Enforcement: A View from 2015 Settlement Data

In a typical year OFCCP conducts around 4,000 compliance evaluations that result in tens of millions of dollars in back pay and benefits for tens of thousands of American workers. However, these summary data describe only a small part of the agency’s overall enforcement picture. Each year a FOIA request is submitted to obtain all OFCCP settlements and a review is done on every OFCCP settlement. This presentation detailed the results of FY 2015 data and trends over time.

Presenter: David B. Cohen (DCI Consulting)

It WAS All About the Base (Pay)

Pay analyses that are “all about the base” may fail to uncover issues that are increasingly on OFCCP’s radar. Contractors are asked to submit factors beyond base pay, such as bonus, incentive, and overtime. Contractors are also encountering frequent requests for compensation interviews and must consider strategies for analyzing compensation and communicating with OFCCP. This panel discussed recent trends, common pitfalls and best practices from the legal, researcher and practitioner perspective.

Presenters: Mike Aamodt (DCI), Joanna Colosimo (DCI), Michelle Duncan (Jackson Lewis), Rick Holt (Resolutions Econ)

Compensation, Compensation, Compensation: How to Survive an OFCCP Compliance Evaluation

A panel of compensation experts discussed the OFCCP’s approach to compensation as well as the impact these changes are now having on compliance audits. “The Davids” discussed their experience in OFCCP compliance evaluations and their recommendations to clients. The presentation was fast- paced, practical and fun. The presentation had both legal and practical aspects and provided the participants with valuable takeaways to use after the conference.

Presenters: David S. Fortney (Fortney Scott), David Cohen (DCI), H. Juanita M. Beecher (Fortney Scott)

We Might be Paid Differently, But Are Our Jobs Really the Same?

Determining which jobs are similar enough to group in a pay equity study is an important, and often contentious, part of proactive analyses and OFCCP audits. Furthermore, laws such as the California Fair Pay Act have made the determination of “similarly situated” or “substantially similar” even more important. This presentation reviewed case law and job analysis methods to provide guidance on how to determine if jobs are similar enough to combined or compared.

Presenters: Mike Aamodt (DCI Consulting) and Kayo Sady (DCI Consulting)


By Joanna Colosimo, Associate Principal Consultant, and Kayo Sady, Senior Consultant, at DCI Consulting Group


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Like other major tech companies, Microsoft’s employment practices are under scrutiny following a class action lawsuit. The case, Moussouris v. Microsoft Corporation Case No. 15 cv 1483 was originally filed by attorneys in 2015 and alleges the company engaged in systematic and pervasive discrimination against female employees in technical and engineering jobs.

Although the case is still ongoing, an article released last month reported that Notice of Violation (NOV) documents were released by OFCCP, which caused a stir in the contractor community. This, however, was not the case, and was most likely misinterpreted by the press. The plaintiff’s attorney noted in the filing that it was Microsoft who supplied the redacted copies of the notices.

A notice of violation is typically issued when OFCCP believes there are technical violations or that evidence of systemic discrimination exists. OFCCP sends these notices to the company and cannot make them public. Although a signed conciliation agreement or consent decree can be requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), an NOV cannot.

By Yesenia Avila, Associate Consultant, and Joanna Colosimo, Associate Principal Consultant, at DCI Consulting Group


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Really, I Come Here for the Food: Sex as a BFOQ for Restaurant Servers

Michael Aamodt, Principal Consultant at DCI Consulting Group, wrote an article featured in SIOP’s TIP publication, January 2017.

Recent Blog Posts

Pilgrim’s Pride: Three Administrative Complaints Dismissed

Between the periods of 2005-2007, OFCCP had several open compliance reviews with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. establishments. In just the last month, three DOL administrative complaints for audits from this period were dismissed. Dismissals resulted from Pilgrim’s Pride bankruptcy filed in 2008.

In December of 2008, Pilgrim’s Pride declared bankruptcy, and proceeded through the process, effecting a bankruptcy plan in December of 2009. As part of the bankruptcy plan, the Court gave notice of Pilgrim’s Pride bankruptcy available to all relevant parties, requesting that all parties submit claims by June 2009. OFCCP filed a claim alleging discriminatory practices at Mount Pleasant and Lufkin, TX, factories in May of 2009. Pilgrim’s Pride then filed a Claims Objection Procedures Motion to OFCCP’s claims

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