Associate Attorney General Details Guidance Documents in DOJ Memo

Posted by Cheryl Boyer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice President of Client Services on February 12 2018

On January 25, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand issued a memorandum that limits the use of guidance documents issued by federal agencies in civil enforcement litigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The memorandum, referred to as the Brand Memo, prohibits the agency’s litigators from using guidance documents to establish violations of applicable statutes or regulations. Federal guidance documents are designed to clarify legal information, respond to questions, and inform the public. According to the Brand Memo, they should not be used to “create binding requirements that do not already exist by statute or regulation.” In other words, the documents can’t be used, on their own, to signal non-compliance, nor are they to be used as additional legal obligations or a substitute for rule-making.

Details on the HIRE Vets Medallion Program are Now Available

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on February 7 2018

As previously reported, the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) has released details about a new program designed to recognize employers with a strong track record in hiring and retaining Veterans.

New Guidance on Interns: Are They Employees?

Posted by Michiko Clark, Associate HR Consultant on February 6 2018

The practice of hiring interns has become widely recognized across different organizations. Determining whether an intern is considered an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been a troubling task for most organizations until now. The Department of Labor has recently updated Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs under the Fair Labor Act, and have adopted a “primary beneficiary test” that has been used by the courts to determine whether an intern (or student) is an employee under FLSA.


DOL Releases Semi Annual Regulatory Agenda

Posted by Charu Avasthy, PHR, Senior HR Consultant on January 22 2018

On January 12, 2018, the Department of Labor published its semiannual regulatory agenda. There were no items on the agenda for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration being the only department expecting any rule changes in the coming year. This means no regulatory updates are expected for OFCCP as the agency adjusts to working under the new Director, Ondray T. Harris.

Subscribe to BALANCEview HR Blog and stay tuned as we monitor this and other other OFCCP updates.

First OFCCP Complaint Filed Nine Months into the Trump Administration

Posted by Andrea Csordas, SPHR, SHRM-CP on November 28 2017

In October, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed its first administrative lawsuit against a federal contractor since President Trump took office. The complaint was filed against Advance2000 Inc., a New York-based information technology services firm, after the company refused to produce reports it agreed to submit to the OFCCP as part of a conciliation agreement.

Berkshire Expert Weighs in on Critique of OFCCP Practices in Reform Report

Posted by Berkshire Associates on November 28 2017

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a report entitled Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Right Mission, Wrong Tactics—Recommendations for Reform critiquing some of the recent enforcement practices of the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Florida Attorney Reportedly Named as Sr. Advisor to DOL Secretary Acosta on OFCCP Compliance

Posted by Berkshire Associates on November 15 2017

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.

Extending Employment Opportunities to Protected Veterans

Posted by Cindy Karrow, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Senior HR Consultant on November 10 2017

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was first celebrated November 11, 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of World War I. November 11 officially became a national holiday in 1938.

The DOL Strikes Down Obama Administration’s Overtime Rule

Posted by Michiko Clark, Associate HR Consultant on September 18 2017

On August 31, 2017, a federal judge in Texas annulled the Obama administration’s controversial rule on expanding overtime practices to millions of “white collar” workers. The rule would have raised the minimum threshold requirements to qualify for the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “white collar” exemption to just over $47,000 per year and increase the overtime threshold for highly compensated workers from $100,000 per year to about $134,000 per year. Judge Amos Mazzant granted the summary judgment to the Plano Chamber of Commerce and other business groups that challenged the 2016 ruling. When the regulation was first announced, Texas, Nevada, and 19 other states also filed a suit challenging the rule. Their case was consolidated into the lawsuit filed by the business groups.

DOL Appeals ALJ’s Ruling in Google Compensation Data Fight

Posted by Brian LaCour on September 12 2017

On Wednesday, August 23, 2017, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) filed an appeal with the Administrative Review Board (ARB), officially challenging a recent decision denying the agency access to some of the documents it sought as part of its highly-publicized review of the compensation practices at Google Inc.’s headquarters location.