According to a news report by the Miami Herald, Florida attorney Craig Leen will serve as a senior adviser to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Leen described “his political post, approved by the White House, as overseeing compliance rules for government contractors.” This role sounds very similar to the role of the Director at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) which has been vacant since Patricia Shiu left in November 2016. However, we have been unable to confirm with the Department of Labor if in fact Leen will be the next OFCCP Director. Tom Dowd, a career government employee, has served as the Interim Director role since Shiu’s departure.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) closed out their 2017 fiscal year with several conciliation agreements. Two of those agreements, with CoreCivic and Kulite Semiconductor Products, were to settle allegations of hiring discrimination. While the companies have not admitted to the agency’s allegations, the conciliation agreements were entered into to resolve the alleged violations “without engaging in further legal proceedings.”
We are hearing a lot of buzz lately about pay equity (some call it pay equality), but regardless of the name, it is something for which companies should be concerned. Several states have added their own variations on what employers must do to ensure pay equity. Celebrities, lawmakers, politicians, and even the Pope have made statements about pay equity. So, this issue will continue to be a hot topic.
The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the proposed merger of the Department of Labor’s, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Business and civil rights groups opposed the merger and without Senate support the merger will not happen. The Senate appropriations bill urges OFCCP to find efficiencies since the funding is being reduced. Recommendations include reorganizing the OFCCP’s infrastructure and establishing “skilled regional centers.” The Senate funding bill will eventually need to be reconciled with the House bill that would fund OFCCP at a much lower rate than proposed by the Senate.
It looks like the skepticism of employers relying on previous wage history is not limited to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The Ninth Circuit has decided to rehear a case, AILEEN RIZO v. JIM YOVINO, en banc. The case involves alleged pay discrimination against a female employee of Fresno County Office of Education (FCOE).
On August 11, 2017, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a consent decree for B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. to resolve allegations of hiring, compensation, and promotion discrimination. What is a consent decree? It is an agreement or settlement to resolve a dispute between two parties—in this case between OFCCP and B&H Foto—without an admission of liability or guilt.