Federal contractors have been closely following leadership changes at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Most notably, President Trump appointed Ondray T. Harris as OFCCP Director, and Craig Leen as Senior Advisor to the OFCCP. Both men have backgrounds in management-side private law practice. This has contractors hopeful they may bring fresh eyes and a more pragmatic approach to the OFCCP.
Federal contractors have extra time this year to submit their annual report. The Department of Labor has this notice on its website.
NOTICE: IMPACT FROM HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA
NOTICE: In order to accommodate the needs of those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Federal contractors who file their VETS-4212 Reports by November 15, 2017 will not be cited for failure to file a timely Report or failure to comply with Federal regulations.
In future years, the deadline will return to September 30th.
On May 23, 2017, the Department of Labor released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018). The budget contains several cost-cutting measures that reflect the new priorities of the Trump administration.
A notable aspect of the proposed budget is a request to merge the EEOC and OFCCP. The proposal aims for “full integration” of the two agencies by the end of FY 2018. To begin that transition, the proposal suggests sizable drops in the OFCCP’s current funding and staffing. The OFCCP’s budget is proposed to drop from $105,275,000 to $88,000,000 (a reduction of $17.3 million). The headcount is proposed to drop nearly 25%, from 571 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees to 440.
On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 37, blocking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, the controversial rule enacted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council in August 2016, that legislators have criticized as a method to blackball federal contractors. The bill’s signing follows the U.S. Senate’s March 6, 2017 vote of 49-48 (along party lines) to formally disapprove of the rule.
The Trump Administration will leave in place an executive order signed by President Barack Obama, which bans sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors. President Obama signed the order in 2014. By doing so, he amended and expanded previous executive orders signed by Presidents Nixon and Clinton, which ban discrimination by federal contractors on the basis race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, status as a parent, and age.
Yesterday a federal court in Texas partially enjoined enforcement of what is known as the “blacklisting” rule. The injunction comes one day before reporting was to begin under the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, 13673.
The OFCCP’s increasingly aggressive enforcement scheme continues to present challenges for federal contractors and subcontractors. Please join The OFCCP Institute for a comprehensive two-day seminar featuring several distinguished speakers, including Chai Feldblum of the EEOC, Consuelo Pinto of the DOL’s Division of Civil Rights, and OFCCP and employment attorney, Christy Kiely.
Date: Wed, November 9th – Thurs, November 10th, 2016
Early Bird Discount ends September 29th
Join us on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET, for a practical breakdown of President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (13673), issued in 2014.
President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (13673), issued in 2014, at last is going into effect. The Order requires federal contractors and subcontractors to report a three-year history of violations of fourteen different labor and employment laws, to the government as part of the procurement process. The government can deny a federal contract to a contractor with a sufficiently negative compliance record.
The first wave of reporting, for prime contractors, is due on October 25, 2016.
Today, on August 25, 2016, the Department of Labor issued final Guidance implementing Executive Order 13673, Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, bleakly referred to by the contractor community as the “blacklisting” order. The same day, a Final Rule and Guidance was added to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement that Executive Order, by the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The “blacklisting” order places a new focus on labor and employment issues during the federal procurement process. Covered federal contractors and subcontractors must now disclose to the government previous violations of fourteen different federal labor and employment laws, plus equivalent state counterparts. Pre-award disclosures must be made before a contract can be awarded to ensure the company is a “responsible” labor source. Updated reports then are required every six months post-award. The rule also imposes limits on the arbitration of certain employment claims, and requires specified paycheck disclosures and transparency.
Since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 in 1965, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has been charged with ensuring nondiscrimination and affirmative action for females in employment. In 1970, regulations were issued to further this goal, known as the Sex Discrimination Guidelines, codified at 41 CFR Part 60-20.
Those guidelines have not been substantially updated in the 46 years since. Until now, that is. The DOL acknowledges the Guidelines have become “out of touch with current law and with the realities of today’s workforce and workplaces.” See: OFCCP Fact Sheet on Sex Discrimination Final Rule. So, the OFCCP is bringing the Guidelines “from the ‘Mad Men’ era’ to the modern era.’”