In August 2009, the Obama administration named Patricia A. Shiu the new Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The OFCCP, part of the Department of Labor (DOL), enforces the non-discrimination and affirmative action obligations of federal contractors under Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.
Shiu is considered to be an aggressive advocate of employee rights and disadvantaged persons. This, coupled with an expected increase in the OFCCP’s budget, suggests that the OFCCP’s enforcement efforts will be particularly active under her leadership. Her new position currently is classified as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, which does not require Senate confirmation. However, following a reorganization in the DOL, Shiu will report directly to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, which could elevate her title to Assistant Secretary of Labor and require Senate confirmation.
Shiu has been an employment attorney with the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco since 1983. She focuses primarily on employment cases of alleged race and sex discrimination. Shiu also directs the Legal Aid Society’s Works and Family Project and is the Vice President of Programs. Shiu graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and spent several years in private practice before joining the Legal Aid Society.
In the federal arena, Shiu’s experience includes an appointment to the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Reviewing Authority during the Clinton administration. She is also a former board member and past vice president of the National Employment Lawyers Association, a plaintiffs’ attorney group.