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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

 

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION UNIT

Q. What is Affirmative Action?

A. Affirmative Action and its implementation procedures are described in Executive Order (EO) 11246 guidelines. EO 11246 requires that we take positive steps to identify qualified females and minorities. The order also requires that we take steps to ensure that searches, hiring, and promotions are conducted in a non-discriminatory manner.

Affirmative Action is a proactive concept. It means affirming that we will actively and aggressively seek to overcome the effects of past discrimination against groups such as women and minorities by making a positive and continuous effort in their recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion. The concept also means that a City Department/Division must actively remove any barriers that artificially limit the professional and personal development of women and minorities. Ultimately, the goal of affirmative action is synonymous with the mission of the institution. This is to give each individual the opportunity to realize her or his maximum potential and to rise as high as one's talents will permit.

Q. What is Equal Employment Opportunity?

A. Equal Employment Opportunity refers to job related standards in employment procedures and requires that we provide the same employment opportunities regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap and veteran status. Simply put, it means that all individuals must be treated equally in the hiring process and in advancement once on the job. Each person is to be evaluated as an individual on his/her merits and not on stereotypical conception of what members of specific groups are like.

Q. How is the Affirmative Action Program implemented in the City?

A. The City of Madison's Affirmative Action Plan is a set of specific programs, policies and procedures to which the City of Madison is committed to apply every good faith effort. The objective of these is equal opportunity.

The Departmental Affirmative Action plans are to be updated annually and developed pursuant to the federal guidelines found in Part 60-2 of Chapter 60 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations as amended from time to time.

This Affirmative Action Plan contains an analysis of our present work force in conjunction with an analysis of our labor area to determine if we are deficient in our utilization of affirmative action target group members. The analysis of our work force representation is used to establish flexible target goals and timetables to which we apply good faith achievement efforts. It is the City's objective and purpose to increase our utilization and representation for affirmative action target group members, at all levels, and in all segments of our workforce.

Q. Who is responsible for the Affirmative Action Program?

A. Everyone. The Affirmative Action Commission, Mayor and Common Council must approve individual department plans from all City Departments. The plans shall reflect reasonable goals and timetables for achieving equal employment opportunities and requirements for affected and/or other under represented groups at all levels and or job classifications.

The Department/Division Heads are responsible for the successful implementation of the Departmental Affirmative Action plans.

This annual report shall include, but is not limited to:

  1. Summary of Departmental and Citywide Affirmative Action Initiatives and goals.
  2. Totals of all persons hired, promoted, transferred, demoted, suspended, terminated, interviewed and/or rejected; indicating affected and/or underrepresented groups. Waivers of hiring priority and reasons therefore shall also be provided.
  3. A description of the recruitment and training programs instituted to achieve the objectives of this plan.
  4. A summary of survival counseling and other supportive programs provided to resolve and prevent problems.
  5. A review of contract compliance status.
  6. A summary of informal complaints.

CITY OF MADISON PROHIBITED WORKPLACE HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION AND/OR RETALIATION

Q. Who can file a harassment/discrimination and/or retaliation complaint?

A. Applicants for City Employment, City Employees, individuals facing termination from City employment and employees experiencing discrimination or retaliation have a right to register a complaint through the City Affirmative Action Division. In order for a complaint to be accepted, the complainant must describe problems that are believed to have occurred because of his or her:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Political Affiliation, or
  • National Origin
  • Issues of concern may include but are not limited to:

Selection (for hire, transfer or promotion)

  • Compensation
  • Benefits, and/or
  • Terms and conditions of employment.

Q. Who should I contact if I want to file a complaint?

A. 1. Supervisor: If a supervisor is contacted, they must immediately notify their Department/Division Head

or

2. Department/Division Head: If a Department/Division Head is contacted, they must immediately notify the Affirmative Action Division

or

3. Affirmative Action Division: If the Affirmative Action Division is notified, action is taken to notify the City Attorney and the Department/Division Head or the Mayor.

Union members, if they so wish, may elect to pursue a complaint under the provisions of their bargaining agreement. In the event that an employee files a grievance under a collective bargaining agreement, there will be a continuation of the Affirmative Action investigation.

All employees (union and non-union) also have the right with an external enforcement agency (such as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the State of Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, Division of Equal Rights) and will receive information regarding differences in procedures and the authority of each agency to provide a remedy and of time limits related to filings.

Q. What happens if the complaint is against a Department/Division Head?

A. Should an allegation be raised that a Department/Division Head may have engaged in or condoned conduct that could amount to discrimination, including harassment, and/or retaliation, the official receiving this information shall immediately notify the Mayor. The Mayor shall immediately convene a meeting to include her/his designee, the Affirmative Action Director and City Attorney. As in all instances where it is essential to maintain sensitivities to civil rights issues of inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity, the Affirmative Action Director shall work with the designated officials to investigate the allegations. Designated investigators will replace the Department/Division Head and shall follow the procedures set forth below, for handling and documenting investigations of discrimination. After the investigation is complete, the findings, conclusions and recommendations shall be reviewed with the department or division director named in the complaint. Final responsibility for remedial steps or disciplinary action, if indicated, will remain with the Mayor.

Q. Will my complaint be kept confidential?

A. Although every possible effort will be made to protect confidentiality within the boundaries of Federal, State and local law and City policy, an investigation cannot be pursued unless certain information is exposed to carefully selected parties and officials. Information that is released will include variables such as the name of the Complainant, a summary of the allegations and relevant details. This information will also be shared with Department/Division Heads or the Mayor's Office. Grievance procedures and formal complaints usually result in records that are open to the public.

Allegations that fall within the definition of prohibited workplace harassment (a form of employment discrimination), will be pursued in accordance with Administrative Procedure Memorandum 3-5.

Q. What is the role of the Affirmative Action Division?

A. The Affirmative Action (AA) Division is an administrative unit with primary responsibility for Affirmative Action Program development and implementation. Its representatives function as a resource tool for all City employees, including managers, supervisors and service providers. AA Division representatives are not advocates on behalf of Complainants or of Management personnel. In processing EEO/AA complaints, the AA Division is available to provide information, expertise and guidance to assist managers with fact finding. Where problems are discovered, the AA Division will provide guidance to assist managers to develop appropriate remedies. Department/Division Heads are responsible to maintain and reinforce principles of Equal Opportunity in every aspect of the working conditions within the operating units under their management authority.

The AA Division is available to provide guidance and assistance as needed to ensure that City Managers can succeed. The AA Division is a collaborative arm to the offices of the Mayor and the City Attorney. Efforts to resolve complaints or grievances will be addressed on the basis of the mutual interests of City employees and Management.

Q. What happens if a complaint is registered with the Affirmative Action Division?

A. 1. When a Complainant elects to register his/her complaint with the AA Division, the person is given the opportunity to discuss individual problems on an informal basis. Where appropriate information, advice or counseling will be provided. The AA Division will determine whether the problem is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity issue or whether it is a problem that must be pursued through other channels. Where appropriate, and if possible, the AA Division will advise non-AA/EEO Complainants of alternative resources. (Such alternatives are not limited to but might include Personnel Services, Workers Compensation, Safety, or City's Employee Assistance Program [EAP]).

If the problem is determined to be an AA/EEO issue, the individual will be informed of his/her rights, and the actions and remedies that are possible within the limits of the authority of this department.

2. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the AA Division will issue a memorandum to the Department/Division Head of the operating unit wherein the problem is alleged to have occurred. A copy of the complaint will be shared under the memorandum. It will be the responsibility of the Department/Division Head to cooperate with the AA Division in pursuing any subsequent investigation. Guidance will be provided by the AA Division regarding what information and/or data is to be gathered and what EEO/AA obligations must be met. Dependent upon the nature of an allegation, if it is deemed to be appropriate, the AA Division will recommend steps to review, revise or develop administrative procedures and/or related policies. Due to legal liabilities, statutes of limitations and administrative obligations, the AA Division will request that the Department/Division activity be documented in a report and submitted for AA Division review. Time frames will be indicated under the memorandum of notification with the usual date of request for report submission to occur within thirty (30) days of notification.

Once a report has been received by the AA Division, it will be evaluated. If the report suggests that further detail is needed, the AA Division will proceed to request that information. If the Department/Division identifies a problem and proposes an adequate remedy, the AA Division will accept the report pending implementation of the proposed corrective action. If a report is received that provides information that the AA Division identifies as problematic, but which the Department/Division has not addressed, guidance will be provided to assist the Department/Division Head to recognize the problem area and to suggest possible remedies. It will be the responsibility of the Department/Division Head to cooperate with the AA Division and to take positive steps to alleviate identified EEO/AA problem areas.

Q. What happens if a complaint is registered with a Supervisor and/or Department/Division Head?

A. 1. When a Complainant elects to register his/her complaint with a Department/Division Head, the Department/Division Head will make a record of the complaint and immediately inform the AA Division. The AA Division will assist the Department/Division Head to determine whether or not the complaint is a harassment based issue (and therefore pursued under Administrative Procedure Memorandum 3?5) or a discrimination complaint.

2. Employment Discrimination based complaint issues registered within a Department/Division will be investigated under the guidance of the Department/Division Head. The AA Division will be available to provide advice, information or consultation as needed relative to information to be gathered and evaluated.

3. Upon completion of an investigation, the Department/Division Head will submit a report to summarize the information reviewed and any resulting conclusions or recommendations. If a problem is identified the report will include a statement of intent regarding what steps will be taken to correct the problem. The summary report and corrective action format will be submitted to the AA Division within thirty (30) days of the receipt of a complaint.

4. Upon receipt of a Department/Division complaint Investigation Report, the AA Division will evaluate material contents. If the report suggests that further detail is needed, the AA Division will proceed to request that information. If the Department/Division identifies a problem and proposes an adequate remedy, the AA Division will accept the report pending implementation of the proposed corrective action. If a report is received that provides information that the AA Division identifies as problematic, but the Department/Division has not addressed, guidance will be provided to assist the Department/Division Head to recognize the problem area and to suggest possible remedies. It will be the responsibility of the Department/Division Head to cooperate with the AA Division and to take positive steps to alleviate identified EEO/AA problem areas.

Q. What happens if I want to file a complaint against a Department/Division Head?

A. If a complaint is lodged against the Department/Division Head, it will be forwarded to the Mayor. A team of investigators will convene. After an investigation is conducted a copy of the findings will be provided to the Department/Division Head for review and comments, prior to being submitted to the Mayor.

LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Q. What is the Language Assistance Program?

A. The City of Madison has created the Language Assistance Program to ensure equal access to and full participation in all City of Madison services, programs and activities to all persons, including those individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). This policy also ensures that the City of Madison enjoys full compliance with all civil rights laws.

Q. Who is a Limited English Proficient (LEP) individual?

A. Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be Limited English Proficient, or "LEP". These individuals may be entitled language assistance with respect to a particular type or service, benefit, or encounter.

In the US there are thirty-two (32) million "Limited English Proficient" (LEP) persons. There are 294,285 or 5% of 5,363,675 residents in Wisconsin who are LEP persons.

Q. Who is required to have a Language Assistance Program?

A. All "Public" and "Private Entities" receiving Federal financial assistance are obligated under Title VI. However, the City of Madison requires that all Departments/Divisions must provide meaningful access by providing language assistance to limited English proficient individuals.

Q. What documents are required to be translated?

A. The City of Madison defines a "vital document" as any documents that allows LEP persons to fairly and accurately understand their rights under the law, and have meaningful access to any available program or service that may be useful to them, to a degree comparable to person with reasonable English proficiency. Examples of vital documents include, but are not limited to: program information, especially any eligibility requirements, application forms, complaint forms, outline of complaint processes, descriptions of legal rights, and notices of discharge or of any change in benefits.

Q. What is meaningful access?

A. No "one size fits all" standard. Factors:

  • Size of the covered entity
  • Size of eligible population
  • Nature of program/services
  • Resources
  • Frequency of encounters

Q. What are the main elements of the LEP Guidance?

A.

  • Assessment of language needs
  • Develop and Implement Written Polices
    • Oral Language Assistance.
    • Written Translations-Vital Documents
  • Train Staff
  • Monitor Vigilantly

Q. What are the relevant laws concerning language access for LEP individuals?

A. Federal laws particularly applicable to language access include Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Title VI regulations, prohibiting discrimination based on national origin, and Executive Order 13166 issued in 2000. Many individual federal programs, states, and localities also have provisions requiring language services for LEP individuals.

Q. What is Executive Order 13166?

A. An Executive Order is an order given by the President to federal agencies. The LEP Executive Order (Executive Order 13166) says that people who are LEP should have meaningful access to federally conducted and federally funded programs and activities.

Executive Order 13166 requires all agencies that provide federal financial assistance to issue guidance on how recipients of that assistance can take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access consistent with Title VI and the Title VI regulations. The Order also requires that federal agencies create plans for ensuring that their own activities also provide meaningful access for persons who are LEP.

More information on Executive Order 13166 can be found at Executive Order 13166: Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency.

Q. What are some tips for serving multi-cultural clients?

A. Speak Slowly with Longer Pauses:

  • Enunciate as you normally would, but add longer pauses so your client has time to process or translate what you are saying.
  • Learn to be comfortable with longer periods of silence while your client is processing your words.
  • Do not talk louder - just more slowly. Your clients can hear you - they may not be able to understand you.
  • Be patient -- your clients may need time to find the right word.
  • Rephrase - Don't Just Repeat Yourself.
  • Rephrase in clearer or simpler language. You weren't understood the first time, so try a different tactic.
  • Remember that repeating yourself can sound like impatience.
  • Speak in Specific and Simple English:
    • Don't use jargon or idioms.
    • Avoid words like "should" or "must" - and avoid using contractions like "can't" because often the "n't" is not heard.
    • Focus on clear and simple nouns and verbs.
    • Learn to be comfortable with lack of eye contact when speaking.
    • It's one thing to know that many cultures do not make direct eye contact, but it's another thing to be comfortable with little or no eye contact.

CONTRACT COMPLIANCE UNIT

Q. What is Contract Compliance?

A. The mission of the Contract Compliance Program is to monitor and enforce the City's equal opportunity policy for companies doing business with the City of Madison. The City requires non-exempt entities to develop and maintain an approved affirmative action plan. As such, this program in responsible for monitoring and evaluating the compliance of non-exempt contractors, vendors and suppliers with Madison General Ordinance 39.02 and their Affirmative Action Plan.

Contract Compliance staff also administers and manages certification, outreach and recruitment, and contract compliance functions for various targeted business programs including: Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Program for Public Works projects, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Programs for CDBG funded projects, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for United States Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration (USDOT/FTA) funded projects through the Transit Utility. This program also works with Purchasing Services and individual department/divisions to ensure Disadvantaged/Minority/Women Business Enterprises (D/M/WBEs) maximum feasible opportunity to compete for City contracting and procurement opportunities.

Q. How can I become Targeted Business Enterprise (TBE) certified with the City?

A. A review of an applicant firm's organizational structure and supporting corporate records are necessary to ensure eligibility for the City's targeted business programs. Eligible firms are encouraged to apply for certification by completing the TBE or DBE certification application packets and supplying the required, supplemental documentation along with the application. Applicant firms must meet the eligibility requirements of the programs for which they have applied.

Q. What contracting opportunities exist with the City?

A. Bidding - Contractors may submit bids, based on specifications, directly to City agencies soliciting bidders.

Subcontracting - Contractors may submit bids as a subcontractor to prime (first tier) contractors bidding on City contracts. This is typically work that the prime contractor will not self-perform.

Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Quote (RFQ) - Contractors may submit proposals or quotes directly to City agencies requesting proposals/quotes. Current RFP/RFQ opportunities are available for review at www.demandstar.com and http://vendornet.state.wi.us/vendornet/.

Q. How are goals determined for the target business programs?

A. Goals are calculated by comparing the work areas listed in the architect's or engineer's cost estimates for the project with the goods and services provided by the current pool of certified targeted businesses. The initial goal is equivalent to the total dollar volume (percentage) of subcontracting opportunities that can be performed by certified targeted businesses in comparison to the total project cost. To establish the final goal for the project, this figure is then adjusted up or down based on remarks from the architect and/or engineer regarding the structure of the project and past contractor performance.

Q. What do I need to do to comply with the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Compliance reporting requirements?

A. The Small Business Enterprise Compliance Report is to be submitted by the bidder in a separate sealed envelope marked: "ENVELOPE 2 - SBE COMPLIANCE REPORT". This report is due by the specified bid closing time and date. Bids submitted without a completed SBE Compliance Report as outlined below will be deemed nonresponsive and the bidder ineligible for award of this contract.

If the Bidder meets or exceeds the goal established for SBE utilization, the Small Business Enterprise Compliance Report shall consist of the following:

  • Cover Page, Page SBE-1; and
  • Summary Page, SBE-2.

If the bidder does not meet the goal established for SBE utilization, the Small Business Enterprise Compliance Report shall consist of the following:

  • Cover Page, Page SBE-1;
  • Summary Page, SBE-2; and
  • SBE Contact Report, SBE-3 and SBE-4. (A separate Contact Report must be completed for each SBE which is not utilized.)

Q. If I need to change my use of an SBE subcontractor, how do I address it with your office?

A. No change in SBE subcontractors, vendors and/or suppliers from those SBEs indicated in the SBE Compliance Report will be allowed without prior approval from the City of Madison Affirmative Action Division. The contractor shall submit in writing to the City of Madison Affirmative Action Division a request to change any SBE citing specific reasons which necessitate such a change. The Affirmative Action Division will use a general test of reasonableness in approving or rejecting the contractor's request for change. If the request is approved, the Contractor will make every effort to utilize another SBE if available.

Q. What do I need to do to get my payment approved?

A. A completed Application and Certification for payment form must be submitted to the appropriate contracting City agency. Once approved by the contracting City agency, the Affirmative Action Division will review your contract file to ensure compliance in the areas of affirmative action/equal employment opportunity, targeted business utilization, and prevailing wage. Any findings of non-compliance will be communicated to your firm in writing. Your firm will be expected to correct and/or address any findings of non-compliance before payment can be issued.

Q. The prime contractor is not paying/not paying promptly. What can I do?

A. Contact our office. The Contract Compliance Officer can mediate disputes regarding payment between SBE subcontractors and prime contractors. Progress payments and retainage may be withheld until these disputes are settled.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLANS

Q. What is an Affirmative Action Plan and its purpose?

A. The model Affirmative Action plan utilized by contractors is designed to ensure that the contractor provides equal employment opportunity to all and takes affirmative action in its utilization of applicants and employees who are women, individuals who fall within the racial/ethnic category and persons with disabilities. We review a contractor's practices and policies in the following areas:

  • EEO/AA Policy Statements and Plans
  • Recruitment
  • Selection Criteria
  • Payroll Practices
  • Staff Development
  • Harassment-Free Work Environment
  • Complaint Procedures
  • Utilization of Targeted Businesses (i.e., Small Business Enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises, Women Owned Business Enterprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises)

Q. Who is required to submit an Affirmative Action Plan?

A. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity including a contractor, vendor, or supplier, which enters into a contract with the City. Notwithstanding any exemptions, all developers who enter into subdivision improvement contracts with the City, and their contractors shall submit an approved Affirmative Action Plan.

Q. Who is exempt from submitting an Affirmative Action Plan?

A. The most common exemptions are for:

  • Contracts with contractors who employ fewer than fifteen (15) employees.
  • Contracts with contractors whose aggregate annual business with the City for the calendar year in which the contract takes effect is less than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

Q. Will you accept approval of a contractor's Affirmative Action Plan from any other entity?

A. Yes. If you send us a copy of the letter you received from the Federal Government or the State of Wisconsin approving your plan you will not need to submit ours. The letter must state the effective dates of that approval.

Q. How often must a contractor submit an Affirmative Action plan?

A. The Affirmative Action Plan must be submitted on an annual basis. If you have a letter from the Federal Government or State of Wisconsin approving your plan for a longer time, we will accept their timeframe.

Q. What happens if a contractor fails to submit an Affirmative Action Plan as required by Madison General Ordinance Section 39.02?

A. "Article VIII

In the event of the contractor's or subcontractor's failure to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Provisions of this contract or Section 39.03 and 39.02 of the Madison General Ordinances, it is agreed that the City at its option may do any or all of the following:

  1. Cancel, terminate or suspend this contract in whole or in part.
  2. Declare the Contractor ineligible for further City Contracts until the Affirmative Action requirements are met.
  3. Recover on behalf of the City from the prime contractor 0.5 percent of the contract award price for each week that such party fails or refuses to comply, in the nature of liquidated damages, but not to exceed a total of five percent (5%) of the contract price, or five thousand dollars ($5,000), whichever is less. Under public works contracts, if a subcontractor is in noncompliance, the City may recover liquidated damages from the prime contractor in the manner described above. The preceding sentence shall not be construed to prohibit a prime contractor from recovering the amount of such damage from the noncomplying subcontractor."

TARGETED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAM

Q. What is the Targeted Business Enterprise Program?

A. The Targeted Business Enterprise program consists of conducting certification, outreach and recruitment of businesses that qualify to do business with the city on different city projects. Those businesses consist of Small Business Enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.

Q. What qualifications are needed to be certified as a Small Business Enterprise?

A. In order to be certified as a SBE your business must be:

  • a business organized for profit, performing a commercially useful function.
  • independently owned and controlled.
  • averaging annual gross receipts of $750,000 or less over the last three year period.

Q. What is the benefit of being certified in this program?

A. One of the advantages of being certified in this program is that utilization of SBE goals for Public Works projects that exceed $100,000. Prime contractors are required to solicit bids from Small Businesses for subcontracting opportunities on those projects.

Q. Do you honor any other Small Business Enterprises (SBE) certification?

A. No.

Q. What qualifications are needed to be certified as a Minority Business Enterprise?

A. In order to be certified as an MBE your business must be:

  • a business organized for profit, performing a commercially useful function.
  • at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more racial/ethnic affirmative action group member(s).
  • controlled (managed and operated daily) by one or more racial/ethnic affirmative action group member(s).
  • there are no size restrictions for MBE certification.


Q. What is the benefit of being certified in this program?

A. One of the benefits is that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds have a requirement that contractors solicit bids from Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) for their projects. In addition, we work with the City of Madison's purchasing services department and other department/divisions to ensure the maximum feasible opportunity for MBEs to compete for contracting and procurement opportunities.

Q. Do you honor any other MBE certification?

A. Yes - A business may submit a current MBE certification issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

Q. What qualifications are needed to be certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE)?

A. In order to be certified as a WBE your business must be:

  • a business organized for profit, performing a commercially useful function.
  • at least fifty-one (51%) owned by one or more women.
  • controlled (managed and operated daily) by one or more women.
  • There are no size restrictions for WBE certification.

Q. Do you honor any other WBE certification?

A. No.

Q. What is the benefit in being certified as a WBE?

A. One of the benefits is that Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds have a requirement that contractors solicit bids from Women Business Enterprise (WBEs) for their projects. In addition, we work with the City of Madison's purchasing services department and other departments/divisions to ensure the maximum feasible opportunity for WBEs to complete for contracting and procurement opportunities.

Q. What qualifications are needed to be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

A. In order to be certified as a DBE your business must be:

  • at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • controlled (managed and operated daily) by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • The industry size standards of the Small Business Administration apply to businesses applying for DBE certification. The Table of Small Business Size Standards is available at: www.sba.gov/size/indextableofsize.html.

Q. Do you accept other DBE certifications?

A. Yes. Through the Wisconsin Unified Certification Program, a firm certified with one of the agencies below, is automatically certified as a DBE with the City of Madison:

  • State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation,
  • Dane County, or
  • Milwaukee County

In addition, if you are currently certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as an 8(a) and/or Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) firm, you may be eligible for a streamlined certification application process. Under this process, the certifying agency to which you are applying will accept your current SBA application package in lieu of requiring you to fill out and submit another form. Note: You must still meet the requirement for the DBE program, including undergoing an on-site review.

Q. What is the benefit in being certified in this program?

A. One of the benefits is that when spending United States Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration (USDOT/FTA) funds, the Madison Metro Transit Utility is required to solicit bids from businesses certified in this program.

One of the benefits all of our targeted business enterprise programs offer is that your firm is published on our website in the Targeted Business Directory that contractors and agencies refer to when soliciting bids for various projects.

Q. How do you know what program is being targeted in a particular contract?

A. The bid document will specify which targeted business (MBE, WBE, DBE and/or SBE) is being targeted for a specific contract. In general, the targeted business type is determined by the source of funding. Public Works contracts estimated to cost $100,000 or more that are funded solely with city dollars will have an SBE goal attached. Projects with federal monies will have a MBE, WBE and/or DBE goal attached.

Q. How often do I have to be recertified?

A. Certifications expire after three years but you must submit an annual Affidavit form stating that nothing has changed from your original application that would affect your eligibility. After three or five years, based on program guidelines, you will complete a Recertification Application in order to maintain your status in our program. Recertification applications can be found on the website referenced below.

Q. Where can I get additional information and the applications to apply for these programs?

A. You can visit us online at: www.cityofmadison.com/dcr.

Located here, you will find a summary of our agency business, applications to participate in the City of Madison's Targeted Business Enterprise Program, and the latest Targeted Business Directories.

JOB SKILLS BANK

Q. What is the Job Skills Bank?

A. The City of Madison has established a goal for businesses (who are not exempt) to hire individuals who fall within the targeted work force category (women and racial /ethnic group members) In our effort to assist them in attaining those goals we have established our Job Skills Bank. The Job Skills Bank consists of employment opportunities with organizations receiving City of Madison assistance and businesses contracting (vendors, suppliers or contractors) with the City of Madison. As per the City's Affirmative Action Plan, certain organizations or companies which contract with the City, must notify the Affirmative Action Division of all job vacancies in Dane County prior to advertising.

Q. How does a business let you know about an employment opportunity?

A. The Affirmative Action Division has created a Job Posting Form (which can be submitted via e-mail). Our e-mail address is aajobs@cityofmadison.com.

Q. How can a person be made aware of those employment opportunities?

A. Individuals who are interested in seeking employment with any of the businesses listed should apply by filling out a Client Action Form. After you have submitted that form to our office you are placed in our Job Skills Bank. Individuals are then sent (on a weekly basis) a listing of those job postings received by our office. You are encouraged to scan this list, identify the positions you wish to apply for, and contact our office in order to review those positions identified and obtain referrals.

Q. Do they have to hire me?

A. No. If you qualify, and are referred to potential employers you are expected to receive an interview. This process does not exclude applicants from any of the normal application, interviewing, hiring processes. All inquiries regarding the job duties, responsibilities, salary, benefits, etc. should be directed to the employer. In addition, we suggest that applicants inquire about any other open positions with these organizations. Employers are required by the Affirmative Action plan to retain your application for at least six (6) months.

Q. Who can I talk to if I need additional information about the programs mentioned above?

A. You can contact the Contract Compliance Monitor at (608) 267-8786 or WI Relay Service.

Q. What if I need this information in a different format?

A. Please contact our office so we may assist you.

CONTRACT COMPLIANCE MONITOR PREVAILING WAGES

Q. What are prevailing wages?

A. This term refers to the process or establishment of the Basic Hourly Rate of pay plus the hourly benefits associated with the employee wages. Basic Hourly Rates are the actual take home amount while the hourly benefits are the intangible part of pay for items such as vacations, dental, health plans and retirement funds.

Q. Who monitors prevailing wages?

A. The City of Madison Contract Compliance section reviews Prevailing Wages through hard copy (Weekly Payroll Reports) submitted by the contractor and subcontractors for each week of work performed. The Contract Compliance section also make on-site visits to the various construction sites and conducts interviews directly with employees working on-site.

Q. Why do we have prevailing wages?

A. Prevailing Wage ordinances were developed to discourage the awarding of City contracts to employers who frequently underbid local or smaller sized companies with lesser hourly wages in order to secure City contracts. Wage rates are the most controllable variable used in the City bidding process. All contractors must pay like positions the established minimum rate of pay when working on a City Contract.

Q. Where are prevailing wages applied and to whom?

A. To every employee performing work on a City of Madison Public Works project. Madison general Ordinance 23.01 is in accordance with State of Wisconsin Section 66.0923 and State Administrative Code DWD 290. MGO 23.01 covers all work performed while building or work involving erection, construction, remodeling, repairing or demolitions of buildings, parking lots, highways, streets, bridges, sidewalks, street lighting, traffic signals, sanitary sewers, water mains and appurtenances, storm sewers and grading and landscaping of public lands.

All employees working for a contractor who were awarded work to be performed on a City of Madison Public Works contract must pay prevailing wages. (see: Madison General Ordinance 23.01)

Also, as indicated in MGO 4.23, it is the policy of the City to assure equitable wages for all building or work which is financed in whole or in part with City financial assistance. The Common Council finds that extending prevailing wages to workers employed on such projects preserves and promotes the public health, safety, prosperity, and general welfare of the people of the City of Madison.

Q. How are prevailing wage rates determined?

A. The State of Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development maintains records for an annual survey conducted every year state wide. This survey weighs the averages of all commonly used job descriptions used in the construction industry around the state of Wisconsin. Based on location and availability of positions in the area, a benchmarked average is determined for every commonly utilized construction job position. The City of Madison, based on MGO 23.01, adopts the State of Wisconsin's schedule of wages and benefits rates for all trades and occupations associated with the construction industry, and specifically Public Works.

Q. How is it determined which hourly rate should be applied or paid to the employee?

A. The State of Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development has developed a listing of job titles and classifications, which includes job duties and responsibilities of prevailing wage related positions. Contractors should use the job title that most closely represents the duties to be performed and other duties that are actually performed by the employee.