Federal News & Analysis

  • 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.

  • EEOC issues long-awaited return-to-work guidance

    On Friday, May 28, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 Technical Assistance (https://bit.ly/2SA7IX7). In its long-awaited return-to-work guidance, the EEOC answered some but not all of the questions employers have been asking since the Biden administration began rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • OSHA issues tardy emergency COVID-19 standard for healthcare settings

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to expand protections against COVID-19 for workers in the healthcare sector.

  • Federal agencies address future of pay data collection

    If the Paycheck Fairness Act had passed the Senate (see "Pay Equity Corner" on pg. 4), the Act specifically included requirements that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) collect pay data. The Act would have required the EEOC to reinstate the pay data collection, known as the EEO-1 Report, Component 2, and would have directed the OFCCP to collect pay data along with hiring, promotion, and termination data from 50 percent of all federal contractors annually.

  • FOIA, EEO-1 reports, and federal contractors, oh my!

    Employers are under increasing pressure to make public workforce diversity data. The press and other stakeholders are turning to the Freedom of Information Action (FOIA) to force the disclosure of such data by demanding employers' annual EEO-1 reports.