The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a directive discontinuing the agency’s Active Case Management (ACM) procedures. Instituted in July 2003, the ACM process was “primarily an abbreviated desk audit process” to expedite the closing of supply and service (S&S) contract compliance evaluations where there existed no evidence of systemic discrimination. The agency considered cases with fewer than 10 potential victims to fall under this category. According to the directive, absent such evidence of widespread discrimination, full desk audits were to be performed only once out of every 25 such cases, and onsite evaluations only once out of every 50th review. The OFCCP claims in the directive that the ACM has caused the agency to “narrow the focus of its enforcement efforts” and has “eroded” its enforcement authority, thereby prompting its revocation.
As a result of this directive, employers can expect more thorough desk audits and onsite evaluations, practices in keeping with the DOL’s move toward stronger enforcement in recent months.
The OFCCP has been implementing several changes of late. Last month, the agency announced (pdf) it would no longer conduct I-9 compliance inspections during the course of an onsite investigation, which it had done under a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding between the DOL and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The agency also recently filed with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its proposal to rescind its compensation and voluntary guideline standards. The notice to the OMB: Interpreting Nondiscrimination Requirements of Executive Order 11246 With Respect to Systemic Compensation Discrimination and Voluntary Guidelines for Self-Evaluation seeks to rescind its compensation standards, which outline methods for the agency to evaluate contractors’ and subcontractors’ compensation practices; and its voluntary guidelines, which provide contractors with methods of compensation system self-evaluation as a means to remaining in compliance with OFCCP compensation regulations. While details about this rescission have yet to be published in the Federal Register, the fact that the notice has been filed indicates that the OFCCP has taken the initial steps to make significant changes to the agency’s compliance practices.
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