The OFCCP vowed things would change after President Trump’s election.  It is making good on that promise.  The Agency issued three new Directives in the last two weeks, following four others earlier this year.  The good news for contractors is that the OFCCP’s actions are almost all pro-business, aimed at making the Agency more transparent, objective, and efficient.
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Federal contractors have been closely following leadership changes at the 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.   
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Federal contractors have extra time this year to submit their annual VETS-4212 report. 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.
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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.
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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.
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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 “blacklisting” order would have required prime contractors, as part of federal contract bidding that occurs after October 25, 2016, to report to the federal government all violations of fourteen labor and employment laws during the preceding year, via a public website. The government would have the option to reject a contract bidder based on the violations disclosed. The order also would have imposed restrictions on pre-dispute arbitration agreements for civil rights and sexual assault claims, effective today.
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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.
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