On April 17, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued guidance to increase accountability and efficiency in its enforcement and to maximize the effectiveness of compliance assistance resources to assist contractors in meeting their responsibilities.
According to a DOL news release, the agency released the following directives:
- Efficiency in Compliance Evaluations: Directive 2020-02 outlines the steps OFCCP will take to expeditiously resolve compliance evaluations and quickly remedy violations to benefit the workers OFCCP protects and the regulated community. Efficient compliance evaluations help ensure the collection of relevant evidence in a timely manner.
- Pre-referral Mediation Program: Directive 2020-03 establishes a mediation program to resolve matters before spending significant time and resources in the enforcement process. OFCCP will offer this program to federal contractors and subcontractors to resolve findings of discrimination after the Show Cause Notice has been issued but prior to referrals to the Office of the Solicitor for enforcement. This mediation is not a substitute for the conciliation period between a Notice of Violation and Show Cause Notice.
- Ombuds Service Supplement and Protocol: Directive 2020-04 supplements Directive 2018-09 with additional details outlined in an Ombuds Service Protocol, which explains the principles of the Ombuds Service. While some stakeholders appear reluctant to contact OFCCP directly, the agency is committed to engaging in transparent communications, and created the Ombuds Service as an independent mechanism to allow stakeholders to share their concerns with OFCCP or provide general feedback and recommendations to improve agency administration.
More information on these directives can be found on the DOL website and in an analysis published by ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson P.C.
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, OFCCP issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements through June 17, 2020.
ABC will continue to provide updates on OFCCP’s COVID-19 response in Newsline.