On November 21, 2016, the EEOC announced the release of new enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination. Like many enforcement initiatives of late, the update is intended to address current cultural issues and legal developments. It updates an EEOC compliance manual section from 2002 (Volume II, Section 13: National Origin Discrimination). For employers who have been following court decisions in this area, the guidance may not convey much new information. But, it makes clear the agency’s position in a number of areas that may continue to present workplace challenges under Donald Trump’s administration.
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Donald Trump’s election took many by surprise. Companies must now quickly determine his likely impact on their operations and workforces. Join us for a 1-hour webinar that discusses Trump’s most likely targets for change and the methodology that Trump and his administration must follow to accomplish that change.
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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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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 “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.
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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.’”
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The United States Department of Labor has announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires federal government contractors to provide employees with up to 7 days of paid sick leave annually. As a result, the DOL estimates that employers will be compelled to provide additional paid leave to 828,000 employees, including 437,000 employees who do not currently receive any paid sick leave.
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On September 10, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued a Final Rule implementing last year’s Executive Order 13665, which prohibits federal contractors from discharging, or discriminating against, any employee or applicant who “has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed” either their own compensation information or that of another employee or applicant.

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