Federal News & Analysis

  • Is OFCCP's new compensation directive 'friendlier' to contractors?

    On Friday, August 24, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive 2018-05, "Analysis of Contractor Compensation Practices During a Compliance Evaluation," which rescinds the agency's previous compensation directive, Directive 307. According to the agency, the new directive was issued to "further clarify and provide additional transparency to contractors about OFCCP's approach to conducting compensation analysis." Directive 2018-05 has been hailed by some experts as being much more favorable for federal contractors than the Obama administration's Directive 307, but is that really the correct way to view it?

  • Joint-employer rule brings focus to status of NLRB

    Like a magnifying glass focusing sunlight to ignite a fire, the joint-employer issue has become a lens through which a great number of prudential matters before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Congress, and the country itself can be viewed. As former NLRB member and General Counsel Ronald Meisburg recently noted: "For decades, the NLRB has engaged in what some observers have called policy oscillation, in which the [B]oard has 'flip-flopped' its case precedents depending on which political party has held the majority." That practice has intensified as the country has become more politically polarized and every issue seems fraught with partisan significance. Few issues demonstrate this phenomenon more starkly than the joint-employer rule.

  • EEOC, employees continue to see success in disability cases

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has quietly maintained its focus on disability discrimination. Since July 1, 2018, the agency has filed 19 lawsuits alleging various violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and has collected more than $6 million in settlements.

  • DOL issues 6 new opinion letters

    On August 28, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued six new opinion letters addressing a wide range of issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

  • USERRA claim by veteran who applied for new job after deployment

    The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), the federal law that establishes the rights and responsibilities of uniformed servicemembers and their civilian employers, generally guarantees an employee returning from military service or training the right to be reemployed in his former job with the same benefits. In a recent decision handed down by the 8th Circuit, the right to reemployment was given new life and potentially taken a step further.

  • DOL holds listening sessions on updating overtime rule

    Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) held a series of five listening sessions across the country to get public input on updating the rule that governs how overtime is paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Texas fights EEOC's enforcement guidance on criminal background check

    On April 25, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued subregulatory enforcement guidance regarding the use of criminal background checks ("Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). Shortly thereafter, in 2013, the state of Texas filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking to enjoin the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from enforcing the terms of the guidance.

  • OFCCP issues CSALs, outlines new extension requirements

    On September 7, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) mailed 750 new corporate scheduling announcement letters (CSALs) to federal contractors to supplement its fiscal year (FY) 2018 scheduling list, released on March 19. The agency stated that the CSALs are provided as a "45-day" courtesy notice before it sends scheduling letters approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Once contractors receive scheduling letters, they will have 30 days in which to submit their affirmative action plans (AAPs) and other documentation listed in the scheduling letters. Therefore, according to the OFCCP, "all contractors on the current list are receiving a minimum of 75 days advance notice to have their AAPs ready."

  • OFCCP takes a new direction (or does it?)

    On July 27, 2018, Ondray Harris resigned after eight months as director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). During Harris' tenure, the agency's focus seemed to be primarily on how federal contractors could use apprenticeship programs to increase diversity. That frustrated contractors, who had hoped the Trump administration would reverse the agency's high-handed approach to audits generally and compensation specifically. Craig Leen, who was brought into the agency as a senior adviser and was recently promoted to deputy director, was named acting director. Marika Litras, acting deputy director, became his career deputy.

  • Culture clash: Federal agencies offer different interpretations of same issue

    Momentous decisions regarding workplace investigations and protections for LGBT employees are likely coming from different departments and agencies of the federal government. Currently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have opposing views on whether workplace investigations into sexual harassment can be confidential. And the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the EEOC have different positions on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBT employees. Those differences are unsustainable, but a resolution has yet to be found.