In a decision that could have significant future ramifications for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, an administrative law judge recently issued a 135-page discovery ruling in a case filed by the OFCCP against computer technology giant Oracle America, Inc.

A new study sheds light on the progress (or, more accurately, the lack of progress), made by U.S. employers in achieving gender diversity. The study's findings are important for federal contractors, who must comply with the requirements of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, as well as for any employers who consider gender diversity a priority.

According to an analysis performed by Bloomberg Law of fiscal year 2017 data, a new trend exists at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The number of compliance evaluations closed during the year has dropped significantly, but the amount of money paid by contractors for alleged violations has reached an all-time high. 

The Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) extended this year’s deadline for filing the VETS-4212 from September 30, 2017, to November 15, 2017, due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

Citing personal experiences of its members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a harsh critique of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The Report, entitled “Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs:  Right Mission, Wrong Tactics,” recommends specific actions the OFCCP should take to improve both its enforcement efforts and its relationship with the contractor community. 

Criticisms based on OFCCP’s aggression and antagonism toward contractors

The Chamber begins its Report with this description of the Agency:

OFCCP has become an agency that appears to focus more on garnering splashy headlines and securing high-dollar settlements than it does simply pursuing its admirable, if at times, unglamorous mission. As this white paper demonstrates, OFCCP is too often antagonistic toward the regulated community, ignores myriad and effective diversity efforts undertaken by contractors, engages in overly broad and unreasonable fishing expeditions for employment data, and pursues take it or leave it conciliation efforts.

Although not best-known for investigating individual complaints of discrimination, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs can -- and will -- do just that. 

The Agency recently announced that its complaint form had been updated. It can now be completed electronically and submitted automatically to an OFCCP regional office. The form can also be transmitted from mobile devices. 

The updated form asks complainants to state why they believe the employer discriminated or retaliated against them. In addition to the traditional bases, such as race, national origin, and sex, the form also allows individuals to select newly protected characteristics:

  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Inquiring About Pay
  • Discussing Pay
  • Disclosing Pay

Our Affirmative Action Edition blog focuses on the latest news and topics affecting federal contractors and subcontractors and their compliance with affirmative action and other employment-related laws and regulations.  With breaking news, quick updates, and headlines on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and affirmative action issues, this blog is a great resource for in-house counsel, HR managers, and other compliance professionals.  Our blog is a companion to Constangy’s Affirmative Action Alert newsletter, which addresses significant legislative, regulatory, and administrative proposals and changes.  Subscribe to both to stay current on these important topics!

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