Renewed OFCCP Better Equipped and More Focused
On July 27, 2011, the OFCCP’s Director, Patricia A. Shiu, spoke at the Industry Liaison Group’s 2011 National Convention in New Orleans. According to Director Shiu, the OFCCP is in a “period of renaissance,” consisting of staff increases, a new compliance-review strategy for federal contractors and a regulatory overhaul. The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (commonly known as the OFCCP) enforces federal contractors’ and subcontractors’ affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations under Executive Order 11246; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended; and the Vietnam-Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), as amended.
According to Director Shiu, the OFCCP has restored hits commitment to its core values of equality, fairness and opportunity for all under the Obama Administration, and has been given the resources to engage in more in-depth compliance reviews. Over the last two years, the OFCCP has been able to increase its staff by 35%. In fact, the OFCCP has hired and trained roughly 200 new compliance officers since 2010, and provided the first national training for OFCCP employees in more than a decade, according to Director Shiu.
In addition to increased staff and training, the OFCCP is getting close to finalizing its revisions to its internal compliance manual, and has already announced its newest enforcement protocol, Active Case Enforcement (referred to as “ACE”), earlier this year. Under ACE, the OFCCP has shifted its compliance reviews to a “more thorough and careful” review, according to Director Shiu.
Moreover, the OFCCP’s regulatory overhaul has just begun. While the OFCCP is currently in the process of reviewing the public comments it received regarding its proposed regulations amending VEVRAA regulations, it is in the process of publishing a series of proposed revisions to regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for public comment. Moreover, according to Director Shiu, while the OFCCP continues to work on developing a new compensation data collection tool to eliminate gender and race-based compensation discrimination, the OFCCP is also in the process of overhauling its sex-discrimination guidelines, which were last revised in 1978. According to Director Shiu, “Times have Changed, Workplaces have changed. Regulations must change, as well.”
Stay tuned for more information.