Federal News & Analysis

  • NLRB General Counsel announces progressive agenda

    Newly confirmed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel (GC) Jennifer Abruzzo outlined an activist and progressive agenda for her office and the soon-to-be Democratic-dominated NLRB.

  • Joint employer battles continue

    When the Biden administration succeeded in rescinding the Trump-era employer-friendly joint-employer regulation, it thought it could focus solely on drafting a new rule. That new rule is widely anticipated to resuscitate the Obama-era regulation, making it easier for workers and government agencies to file claims (and union petitions) against larger business partners, such as those in the franchise industry.

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion ― but what about accessibility?

    Based on a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://bit.ly/3B5E6By), 17.9 percent of U.S. workers in 2020 identified as an individual with a disability. Yet most employers focus their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts exclusively on attracting, promoting, and advancing employees of color and women. While those efforts are critically important and long overdue, true inclusivity is not possible if almost 18 percent of the workforce is left out of the equation.

  • Report from NILG conference

    Chair Burrows keynotes NILG second day. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Charlotte Burrows made her first keynote speech at the National Industrial Liaison Group (NILG) conference on August 3. Speaking to the largest equal employment opportunity (EEO) conference, Burrows said her priorities are combating systemic discrimination and the civil rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • OFFCP to add employees, upgrade IT capabilities

    After going virtual in 2020, the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) conference convened in-person in Nashville this year. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Director Jenny Yang opened the gathering with recorded remarks announcing long-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Michele Hodge would become the career deputy director. She then updated participants on what they can expect from the OFCCP:

    • Once the federal budget is approved, Yang expects to hire 188 full-time employees and continue upgrading the agency's IT capability;
    • With the infrastructure bill nearing completion, she expects to reinvigorate the construction contractor program with a new scheduling letter, which would require affected contractors to submit data prior to the on-site and new-construction audit scheduling system; and
    • Yang again encouraged contractors to use Functional Affirmative Action Plans (FAAPs), which the agency believes would have the benefit of grouping more employees and allowing the OFCCP to "identify more areas for growth."

    Yang said the OFCCP is looking to modernize its regulations such as (1) considering alternatives to its current establishment-based approach to affirmative action plans (AAPs) to better analyze workforce patterns, (2) requiring goal setting by race/ethnicity, and (3) collecting gender nonbinary data. In addition, the agency has added new FAQs on how contractors should handle remote workers in their AAPs.

  • Infrastructure deal at risk of crumbling

    As we "go to press," the bipartisan infrastructure bill is looking like much of the nation's infrastructure: teetering and at risk of completely crumbling.

  • EEOC issues controversial guidance on Bostocks 1st anniversary

    On the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new guidance (https://bit.ly/36TSnUG) for employers, including a new landing page on the rights of LGBT workers. The guidance outlines the EEOC's position on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, including that employers:

  • Employers reconsidering COVID-19 vaccine mandates

    Many employers were planning to reopen this summer and fall without requiring employees to be fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, with a significant number of individuals refusing to get vaccinated and the rapid spread of the delta variant increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, employers are reconsidering vaccine mandates.

  • EEOC Commissioner Samuels confirmed for 2nd term

    The Senate confirmed Jocelyn Samuels for a second term on Wednesday, July 14, which will end in 2026. Vice Chair Samuels was first confirmed last September, but her term was to end in July.

  • Biden administration narrows gender pay gap in White House

    Advancing gender equity and addressing the gender pay gap have been priorities for President Joe Biden since he was elected, and the White House is attempting to lead by example. Earlier this month, the White House announced the average salaries of men and women hired by Biden in the White House are "roughly equal," with men earning an average salary of $94,639 and women making $93,752 on average ― a difference of only one percent. In addition, 60 percent of new White House appointees under President Biden are female, and women now make up more than half the White House's senior staff.