Happy New Year! As they close out 2019, the Department of Labor continues to release statistics on their previous year. One of these statistics is the number of suspensions and debarments of federal contractors in 2019. Suspensions and Debarments prohibit companies from doing business with the federal government – Suspensions are typically temporary, while a full investigation is being performed, and debarments usually last three years.
It looks like OFCCP is ringing in the new year with a continued commitment to their resolution of transparency. The agency recently updated its Federal Contract Compliance Manual (FCCM). This manual provides guidance to OFCCP's compliance officers for conducting compliance evaluations and complaint investigations. It is also available to federal contractors to offer compliance assistance. There were over 70 sections updated in this new release, the majority of the updates were made to bring the FCCM up-to-date with regulatory and practice changes.
The pay equity movement made big headlines in 2019 thanks to several high profile pay discrimination cases, EEO-1 Component 2 pay data collection, and significant activity at the state level to enact pay equity legislation. However, gender pay gap surveys reported that in 2019 women are still earning 79 cents for every dollar that men make. To see the gender pay gap and pay equity law in your state(s), excellent interactive resources are made available by The American Association of University Women (AAUW). AAUW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission “to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy” with a vision for “equity for all.”
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently issued a proposed rule that would codify the process the agency uses to resolve violations during a compliance review. The proposal also explains the types of evidence needed for the agency to find discrimination. The proposal is an extension of OFCCP Director Craig Leen’s focus on transparency and certainty and seeks to formalize several case processing initiatives OFCCP implemented through less formal directives and the agency’s Federal Contract Compliance Manual. If finalized as regulations, the case processing requirements would have greater legal effect and could only be changed by a different administration through public notice or comment.
One of the world’s most recognizable companies is potentially facing a class-action lawsuit.
Several women employed by The Walt Disney Co. are pursuing a claim that the company has violated California’s Fair Pay Act.
The next step is discovery, meaning that every branch of the Disney empire could come under scrutiny, potentially having a snowball effect with regard to plaintiffs.
OFCCP has requested approval from the Office of Management and Budget to begin conducting compliance checks of construction contractors. The request contains two construction compliance check letters, one for contractors that have direct federal contracts and one for contractors on federally assisted construction contracts. A direct federal contract is one that is with a federal agency for construction services; a federally assisted contract is for construction services funded by the government, but where the government is not a party to the contract. This funding may be in the form of grants, loans, or other funding mechanisms.