Department of Labor
2017 VETS-4212 Reporting is Open
August 1, 2017
The filing season for the VETS-4212 2017
reporting cycle is now open, with a deadline for submission dated September 30, 2017. You can find detailed rules and regulations
on the Department of Labor website.
Proposed Bill Narrows the Definition of Joint Employment
July 27, 2017
A bill known as the “Save Local Business Act” (H.R. 3441
) has been introduced to the House of Representatives, which seeks to clarify the treatment of two or more employers as joint employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). If passed, the bill will impose stricter guidelines on what constitutes “joint employment” and require that there is direct, actual, or immediate control over the terms and conditions of employment, for joint employment to exist.
DOL Submits a Request for Information on the Overtime Rule
July 26, 2017
On Wednesday, July 26, the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) published a formal Request for Information (RFI)
regarding the overtime rule, giving the public an opportunity to offer comments and suggestions on a number of details. This RFI seeks feedback on the duties test, various salary test and salary level items, bonus and incentive inclusions, and cost-of-living matters. Responses to the RFI will help the DOL create a new proposal for revising the regulations. Individuals have until September 25, 2017 to comment and can submit their feedback electronically at www.regulations.gov
USCIS Issues Revised I-9 Form
July 17, 2017
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated version of the Form I-9
used to verify an individual’s identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. The form applies to citizens and noncitizens alike. The modifications to the existing form are minor, including areas for additional information and slight changes in language. Employers need to use the latest form by September 17, 2017 or risk paying increased penalties for noncompliance.
DOL Plans on Revising the Proposed Overtime Rule
June 30, 2017
Attorneys for the Department of Labor (DOL) informed the federal appeals court
that it has decided not to advocate for the $913 per week salary threshold that was set in the 2016 Final Rule
. Instead, it plans on undertaking new rulemaking to determine the appropriate salary level, and has requested the court to confirm the DOL’s statutory authority to set the salary threshold that would make workers eligible for overtime pay.
Janet Dhillon Nominated as EEOC Chair
June 29, 2017
President Trump has chosen Janet Dhillon to fill a vacant seat on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and ultimately lead the EEOC as its Chair. If Dhillon is confirmed, she would take over from Victoria Lipnic, who has presided over the commission as acting Chair. Dhillon currently serves as corporate secretary and general counsel for Burlington Stores, Inc. and has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer in the private sector.
NILG Opposes Potential OFCCP/EEOC Merger
June 16, 2017
The National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) recently submitted a letter
to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of Management and Budget to express its opposition to the consolidation of the OFCCP and EEOC noted in President Trump’s 2018 budget
. In the letter, NILG argues that a possible merger “will negatively impact federal contractors, and ultimately the American worker.” The main issues cited by NILG include the different missions of the two groups, the chance that audits can become EEOC lawsuits, and the harmful impact on staffing and available resources.
2018 Budget Proposal Provides for OFCCP and EEOC Consolidation
May 23, 2017
President Trump’s recently released 2018 budget proposal
calls for OFCCP to be consolidated with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by the end of Fiscal Year 2018. This move would place OFCCP and its responsibilities under the EEOC’s guidance. Fiscal Year 2018 would also be considered a “transition year for OFCCP.” If the budget is approved, OFCCP would incur a loss of 131 full-time employees and reduce its budget by $17.2 million. The stated objective of this transfer is to create consistency with enforcement, increase efficiency, and decrease spending.
DOL Releases Updated Inclusive Workforce Reference Guide
May 9, 2017
The Department of Labor has released an updated version of its step-by-step reference guide to help employers formulate strategies and programs for including people with disabilities in their workforce. This guide provides assistance in areas such as recruiting, hiring, and creating an inclusive culture. Building an Inclusive Workforce
was developed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and is available to download for free
Alexander Acosta Sworn in as New Secretary of Labor
April 28, 2017
Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Secretary of Labor
, was officially named to the position on April 28, 2017. Acosta served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and was a member of the National Labor Relations Board.
Appellate Court Rules Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Illegal Under Title VII
April 4, 2017
On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court found that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act of 1964
. This is the first court to rule that discrimination related to sexual orientation falls under “sex discrimination,” which is forbidden under Title VII. This ruling now makes sexual orientation discrimination illegal in the Seventh Circuit Court districts. While the matter remains uncertain in other circuit courts, it strengthens the position taken by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited under Title VII.
Annual VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Drops to 6.7 Percent
March 31, 2017
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark
has been adjusted to 6.7 percent. The benchmark reflects the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force and is effective as of March 31, 2017. Federal contractors who are required to have a written Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) must establish a hiring benchmark for protected veterans each year or adopt this national benchmark provided by OFCCP. Contractors must compare the percentage of employees who are protected veterans to the hiring benchmark when assessing the effectiveness of their veteran outreach efforts. You can find prior year hiring benchmark data
on the DOL website.
Executive Order Plans to Reorganize the Executive Branch and Federal Agencies
March 13, 2017
President Donald Trump issued a new Executive Order
to reorganize the executive branch in an effort to improve accountability and efficiency. The order directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to come up with a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies. The plan shall include an invitation to the public to suggest improvements for the OMB to consider.
Senate Votes to Rescind the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Regulation
March 6, 2017
In a close vote, the U.S. Senate approved to repeal Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces
. The order, best known as the “Blacklisting” Rule, would require all federal contractors to publicly report labor violations. Last October, a Texas judge temporarily stopped the implementation of EO 13673, but the “paycheck transparency” provisions
of the regulation still went into effect on January 1, 2017. Now the matter goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign the bill to formally stop the order. This would make Executive Order 13673 invalid and prevent its regulations and requirements from being implemented.
Non-Substantive Change to OFCCP Pay Transparency Provision
February 22, 2017
OFCCP recently added the Regulatory Citation (41 CFR 60-1.35c) to the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision
. Each employer covered by Executive Order 11246 must post this provision and incorporate it in their employee handbooks or manuals. While this change to the provision is non-substantive, the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) and OFCCP acknowledged that contractors should take action to apply the revised provision
as soon as their business practices would allow.
OFCCP Distributes Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters to 800 Establishments
February 17, 2017
On February 17th, OFCCP sent out 800 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSAL)
to 375 “distinct companies” across 29 industries. The CSAL gives these establishments advance notice of upcoming audits based on the list generated by the Federal Contractor Selection System (FCSS). The DOL website has an FAQ
on items related to this particular round of CSALs. This was categorized as the “first release” of CSALs in 2017; however, there was no indication if or when another round of CSALs will be distributed. This is the first time since July 2014 that the OFCCP has issued CSALs.
EEOC Extends Public Input Period on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment
February 8, 2017
The EEOC has provided a 40-day extension for the public to provide comments on its proposed enforcement guidance
on workplace harassment. This enforcement guidance describes the legal standards and employer liability as it relates to harassment claims. Interested parties are encouraged to comment
. The new deadline for public input is March 21, 2017.
OMB Approves the Disability Self-Identification Form for Three Years
January 31, 2017
Effective immediately, federal contractors must use the updated Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
when asking applicants and employees to voluntarily identify if they have a disability. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) renewed the form
with a new expiration date of January 31, 2020. No other changes were made to the content of the form. Federal contractors must either download the new form or update their electronic versions to reflect the new date. This is an OMB–approved form and, as such, its content cannot be altered or changed. Use of the self-ID form is valuable for ensuring everyone has an equal employment opportunity and that federal contractors can measure their progress toward hiring individuals with disabilities.
EEOC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment
January 10, 2017
The EEOC is asking for public input on a proposed enforcement guidance
that addresses unlawful harassment. This guidance explains the legal standards and employer liability that apply to harassment claims under federal employment discrimination laws. It sets forth EEOC’s position on harassment law and provides helpful examples and practices. Harassment claims currently make up one-third of all charges received by the EEOC. The guidance is a companion piece to the Task Force Report on Workplace Harassment
which identified ways to prevent harassment. The deadline for submission of comments is February 9, 2017.
EEOC Issues Publication on Rights of Individuals with Mental Health Conditions
December 12, 2016
The EEOC released a resource document
explaining workplace rights for individuals with mental health conditions under the ADA. The publication details how job applicants and employees with mental health conditions are protected from discrimination and harassment, and have a right to reasonable accommodations. It also contains information on the types of available accommodation, restrictions on employer access to medical information, confidentiality, and the role of EEOC enforcement. This is part of a series which includes the rights of individuals with HIV
and individuals who are pregnant
Federal Court Stops Implementation of New FLSA Overtime Rules
November 22, 2016
A federal district court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction
to stop the implementation of the new FLSA Overtime Rule
set forth by the DOL, meaning employers do not have to comply with the new overtime rules on December 1st. This decision delays the effective date of the regulations until the Court makes a final determination on the overtime rules. The DOL strongly disagrees with the decision by the Court and is currently considering their legal options.
EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination
November 17, 2016
The EEOC updated its enforcement guidance
on national origin discrimination in the compliance manual section for the first time since 2002. The proposed guidance addresses issues such as job segregation and intersectional discrimination, while providing direction to employers on recruitment, language requirements, hiring, and promotion. The Commission also issued a question-and-answer publication
and a small business fact sheet
to highlight major points in the guidance document.
EEOC Posts Webinar Recording about New EEO-1
November 3, 2016
The EEOC has posted a recording of its webinar
about the new EEO-1. The webinar provides an overview of the EEO-1, describes the process of reporting and submitting summary pay and hours worked data, and includes examples of how to enter the data on the new form. Resources related to the EEO-1 are available on EEOC’s 2017 EEO-1 Survey
EEOC to Collect Summary Pay Data
September 29, 2016
The EEOC announced that it will collect summary pay data from certain employers to identify possible pay discrimination. Private employers, including federal contractors and subcontractors, with 100 or more employees, are required to report pay ranges and hours worked using the new EEO-1 form
. The first EEO-1 report with pay data will be due on March 31, 2018 for the 2017 reporting period. For more information and guidance, click here
DOL Issues Final Rule Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Contractors
September 29, 2016
The Department of Labor published the Final Rule
to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires certain federal contractors to provide up to 7 days of paid sick leave per year to their employees. The rule applies to new contracts awarded as well as existing contracts that are renewed or extended on or after January 1, 2017.
EEOC Releases New Online Resource Center for Small Businesses
September 27, 2016
The EEOC released an online Small Business Resource Center (SBRC)
to assist small businesses in complying with the anti-discrimination laws enforced by EEOC. The resource center provides information on employers’ responsibilities under these laws, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, guidance in making employment decisions, and tips on a variety of potential workplace discrimination issues.
OFCCP Expands its Mega Construction Project Program
September 23, 2016
OFCCP announced the expansion of its Mega Construction Project (MCP) Program
to increase the representation of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans on the nation’s largest construction projects. An MCP is a major construction project valued at $25 million or more that OFCCP selects for focused community outreach, technical assistance, and compliance evaluation, as well as involves community stakeholders at the early stages of the project.
EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation
August 29, 2016
The EEOC issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues
which outlines the standards it plans to use to prove retaliation under the civil rights and anti-discrimination laws that it enforces. The guidance defines what EEOC considers retaliation, provides examples of protected activity, and lists the types of adverse actions that are prohibited. Retaliation is the leading cause for discrimination claims filed with the EEOC.
DOL and FAR Council Issues Final Regulations and Guidance on E.O. 13673
August 25, 2016
The Department of Labor and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council have issued the final regulations and guidance
to implement the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
(E.O. 13673). The new Executive Order requires prospective contractors to disclose if they have had any labor violations when bidding for a federal contract. It also requires federal agencies to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. The disclosure requirement covers 14 different labor laws and a three-year look back period. The final regulations will be implemented in phases beginning October 25, 2016.
Final Rule Revising ADA Title II and Title III Regulations
August 11, 2016
The Department of Justice published a Final Rule
revising Title II and Title III regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The revised regulations provide guidance to covered entities under Title II (state and local governments) and Title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) as well as to persons with disabilities to ensure that all individuals with disabilities receive the law’s protections. In addition to clarifying that the term “disability” shall be interpreted and applied broadly, the regulations expand the definition of “major life activities,” and establish rules in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. The Final Rule will take effect on October 11, 2016. You can learn more about the new regulations here
2016 VETS-4212 Reporting is Open
August 1, 2016
The filing season for the VETS-4212 2016
reporting cycle is now open and the filing deadline is September 30.
2016 EEO-1 Reporting is Open
August 1, 2016
The filing season for the EEO-1 2016
reporting cycle is now open and the filing deadline is September 30.
EEOC Announces Second Opportunity for Public Comment on Revised Proposal to Collect Pay Data
July 13, 2016
Following the initial comment period which ended on April 1, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the publication of a revised proposal
to collect summary pay data from employers through the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). In the updated proposal, EEOC adopted suggestions from commenters, such as moving the due date for the EEO-1 survey from September 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The proposed revisions will require employers, including federal contractors, with 100 or more employees, to include pay ranges and hours worked to the workforce data on race, ethnicity, sex, and job category that they are currently reporting in the EEO-1 form. The information is meant to assist the EEOC and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in identifying possible pay discrimination and assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces. Interested parties are encouraged to comment
. The deadline to submit feedback is August 15, 2016.
OMB Renews OFCCP Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing
July 1, 2016
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has renewed the OFCCP’s Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing
for three years through June 30, 2019. The renewed letter contains revisions that further clarify the information that is being requested and includes new language notifying contractors that it may share information obtained during a compliance evaluation with other enforcement agencies within the Department of Labor, as well as other federal civil rights enforcement agencies with which it has information-sharing agreements. You can learn more about the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing here
EEOC Issues Sample Notice For Employers Offering Wellness Programs
June 16, 2016
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a sample notice
that will help employers with wellness programs comply with their obligations under a recently issued Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rule
. Employers who offer wellness programs and collect employee health information are required to provide this notice to employees informing them of what information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it, and what will be done to keep it confidential. A question-and-answer document is available here
OFCCP Publishes 2016 VEVRAA Benchmark of 6.9 Percent
June 15, 2016
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has published the 2016 Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Benchmark
of 6.9 percent. Contractors who adopted the previous year’s national benchmark of 7 percent after March 4, 2016, but prior to this announcement, may keep their benchmark at 7 percent. For more information about the VEVRAA hiring benchmark, click here
OFCCP Announces Final Rule Updating Sex Discrimination Guidelines
June 14, 2016
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
has announced a Final Rule
that prohibits sex discrimination in employment. The Final Rule addresses a variety of sex-based barriers to equal employment and fair pay, including compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, a lack of workplace accommodations for pregnant and transgender workers, and family caregiving discrimination. The effective date of the Final Rule is August 15, 2016. Learn more here
EEOC Increases Penalty for Violating Notice Posting Requirements
June 2, 2016
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a Final Rule
increasing the maximum penalty for failure to comply with the notice posting requirements by 150%, from $210 to $525 per violation. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964
, the Americans with Disabilities Act
, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
, employers with 15 or more employees are required to post notices that describe the employer’s non-discrimination obligations and must post these in prominent and accessible places. The increase will go into effect on July 5, 2016 and applies to any penalties assessed after this date.
EEOC Issues Proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination
June 2, 2016
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a proposed enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The revised guidance
addresses issues including job segregation, human trafficking, and intersectional discrimination. The public is encouraged to comment
. The deadline to submit feedback is July 1, 2016.
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division Issues New Overtime Rules
May 17, 2016
The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its final changes to the overtime rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These rules increase the minimum salary for "white collar" overtime exemptions to $47,476, and include an automatic update to this salary threshold every three years. The new rules
take effect on December 1, 2016.
EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs
May 16, 2016
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules
regarding employer wellness programs. These rules, effective January 1, 2017, describe how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers that request health information from employees and their spouses. Question-and-answer documents (ADA
) are available to aid employers.
EEOC Issues Guidance on Leaves of Absence as a Reasonable Accommodation
May 9, 2016
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new guidance on the use of leaves of absence as a reasonable accommodation. The guidance focuses on six issues: Equal Access to Leave Under an Employer's Leave Policy, Granting Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation, Leave and the Interactive Process, Maximum Leave Policies, Return to Work and Reasonable Accommodation, and Undue Hardship. Learn more on EEOC's website
OFCCP Publishes Functional Affirmative Action Program Directive
May 9, 2016
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
(OFCCP) has published its approved Functional Affirmative Action Program directive
. This revised directive outlines the procedures contractors must follow when requesting OFCCP’s approval to develop affirmative action programs by business or functional unit. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved OFCCP’s use of the procedures included in the revised directive through April 30, 2019.
VETS 4212 Filing Threshold Increased for 2016 Filing Cycle
April 28, 2016
The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) has increased the threshold that requires federal contractors to submit the VETS 4212 report from $100,000 to $150,000. This increase is effective beginning with the 2016 reporting cycle. The 2016 filing season for the VETS-4212 will start on August 1, 2016 and ends on September 30, 2016. The reporting threshold for 2015 VETS 4212 reports, which were due September 30, 2015, will continue to be $100,000. More information about the change to the threshold can be found on the VETS
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service Launches Veterans.gov Website
April 15, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
(VETS) has launched Veterans.gov
, a new website designed to be the first stop in the employment search process for veterans and in the hiring process for employers. In addition to a multitude of resources targeted to job seekers, employers have access to a veteran hiring toolkit including local resources to meet an employer’s hiring needs.
Job Accommodation Network Releases Two New Training Modules
April 15, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy
(ODEP) has announced two new online training modules that are now available on the Job Accommodation Network
(JAN) website. The first module, “The Value Proposition for Engaging People with Disabilities
,” provides an overview of the value in hiring, retaining, and marketing to people with disabilities. The second module, “Disability Awareness to Increase Your Comfort, Confidence and Competence
,” offers tips for creating a more inclusive workplace for individuals with disabilities through language and communication. Each module includes a slideshow, transcript, and resource materials to use as handouts.
Submit Comments About OFCCP Scheduling Letter Revisions
April 1, 2016
The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed revisions to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing. These revisions
have been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. OFCCP will not be collecting any new or different information. Rather, OFCCP has proposed minor clarifying edits to the Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing to ensure contractors understand the information being requested and to strengthen the agency’s assurances of confidentiality for the information provided. Interested parties are encouraged to comment
. The deadline to submit feedback is May 2, 2016.
ODEP Releases New Web Tool – TalentWorks
March 25, 2016
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy
(ODEP) recently announced the launch of TalentWorks
, a free online tool that helps employers and human resources professionals ensure accessibility in their web-based job applications and other recruiting technologies for job seekers with disabilities. ODEP's Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology
(PEAT) created the tool after a national survey of people with disabilities found that 46 percent of respondents rated their last experience applying for a job online as "difficult to impossible." TalentWorks
provides general background on accessibility and e-Recruiting, as well as practical tip sheets for making online job applications, digital interviews, pre-employment tests, and resume upload programs accessible.
Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
February 25, 2016
The Department of Labor has issued a proposed rule that shows how they plan to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13706
which establishes paid sick leave for federal contractors. Employees of federal contractors can earn up to seven days of paid sick leave each year including paid leave for family care. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
was published on February 25, 2016, in the Federal Register. Interested parties can submit written comments
by March 28, 2016.
EEOC Proposes Changes to EEO-1 Report to Collect Compensation Data
January 29, 2016
EEOC is proposing revisions to its EEO-1 report to require employers (not only federal contractors) - with 100 or more employees - to submit summary data on wages paid to their employees by gender, race, and ethnicity. This data will identify possible pay discrimination and help employers promote equal pay in their workplaces. Read the details
. Employers can submit comments until April 1, 2016.
Pay Transparency Obligations in Effect
January 11, 2016
Executive Order 13665
(“Pay Transparency”) became effective for contracts or subcontracts of more than $10,000 and entered into or modified after January 11, 2016. Under the rule, federal contractors and subcontractors may not fire or discriminate against employees or applicants for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about their own pay or that of co-workers. The rule requires dissemination of a Pay Transparency Policy Statement
, which cannot be modified.
New FAQs about VEVRAA Infographic
December 8, 2015
In August, OFCCP released an infographic
to help veterans determine if they are protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), but it caused confusion because it was interpreted that OFCCP expanded the definition of protected veterans. In two VEVRAA FAQs
, OFCCP clarified that an "active duty wartime" veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military (and was not dishonorably discharged) during a "period of war” includes World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, and the Persian Gulf War defined as August 2, 1990 to the present. Federal contractors and subcontractors can include such veterans in their 44k data
and VETS-4212 reporting. However, it does not require changes to the veteran self-id forms.
OFCCP Develops a Reasonable Accommodation Pocket Card
October 19, 2015
OFCCP created a pocket card
“Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation” to help applicants, employees, and other interested parties understand the process of requesting a reasonable accommodation.
Disability Video for Self-Identification
October 13, 2015
In conjunction with the Department of Labor’s celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) posted a video, "Disability Inclusion Starts With You
," which encourages applicants and employees with disabilities to voluntarily self-identify. The video explains that self-identification is significant in measuring contractors’ progress toward achieving equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Contractors are encouraged to post the video on their Intranet or company website to share with employees and applicants.
Submit Feedback About VETS-4212 Report
October 12, 2015
The Veteran Employment and Training Services (VETS) is soliciting feedback from Industry Liaison Group (ILG) members regarding the VETS-4212 filing process. If your organization submitted a VETS-4212 report this year, consider sharing your feedback with VETS by filling out this survey
. The deadline to submit feedback is Tuesday, October 27, 2015.
September 18, 2015
OFCCP developed a "Jurisdictional Thresholds" infographic
to help contractors determine when OFCCP's Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503), and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) are applicable. The threshold for Section 503 changed from $10,000 to $15,000 due to an inflationary adjustment statute that authorizes the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to review and adjust acquisition-related threshold amounts where necessary.
Minimum Wage Increases
September 16, 2015
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued a notice
that the minimum wage rate for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts will be $10.15
effective January 1, 2016.
EEO is the Law Supplement
September 11, 2015
OFCCP posted an "EEO is the Law Supplement Poster
" on its website
. The supplement poster is applicable to federal contractors and subcontractors and includes information about:
- Race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin
- Pay secrecy
- Individuals with disabilities
- Protected veterans
OFCCP does not state when the poster needs to be posted; however, it is a mandatory supplement of the "EEO is the Law" poster. Thus, the supplement poster needs to be placed in a conspicuous workplace location where notices to applicants and employees are typically posted (e.g. next to the "EEO is the Law" poster). OFCCP provides guidance on how to use the supplement in its FAQs
until the revised "EEO is the Law" poster is released.
Also, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires such notices to be accessible to applicants and employees with disabilities. Printed notices should be available in an accessible format when needed. Notices can be recorded on an audio file, provided in an electronic format that can be utilized by screen-reading technology, or read to applicants or employees with disabilities as necessary. Learn more on EEOC's website
Pay Transparency - Final Rule
September 11, 2015
OFCCP published its final rule on implementing Executive Order 13665
also known as the "Pay Transparency" Executive Order. Under the rule, federal contractors and subcontractors may not fire or discriminate against employees for discussing, disclosing, or inquiring about their own pay or that of their co-workers. The rule also protects pay discussions by job applicants. The rule is effective for contracts or subcontracts of more than $10,000 and entered into or modified after January 11, 2016.
EEO-1 Deadline Extended
September 10, 2015
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) extended its deadline
for all EEO-1 reports from September 30, 2015 to October 30, 2015. Important changes to be aware of when filing:
- Companies are able to obtain and reset their passwords
- Company locations with the same address and North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code must consolidate locations into one record
- The requirement to provide the employer identification number (EIN) for each establishment location will be carefully monitored
For questions about filing, please contact the EEOC at 877-392-4647
Paid Sick Leave
September 7, 2015
President Obama signed an Executive Order to establish paid sick leave
for federal contractors. Employees of federal contractors can earn up to seven days or more of paid sick leave each year, including paid leave for family care. The regulations will be issued by September 30, 2016, and the Executive Order will go into effect on January 1, 2017.
OFCCP Launches Customer Experience Survey
August 19, 2015
OFCCP deployed a "2015 Customer Experience Survey" to federal contractors that went through a compliance evaluation during the previous four years. The survey was deployed electronically via SurveyMonkey and collects anonymous responses about information on contractors’ experiences during compliance evaluations to identify areas where OFCCP can strengthen its outreach, education, training, and processes moving forward.
August 14, 2015
Due to the recent changes of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) regulations requiring contractors to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as protected veterans at the pre-offer and post-offer phases of the application process, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released an infographic
to help veterans easily navigate the "protected veteran" categories to determine their eligibility for coverage under VEVRAA.
503 Checklist Tool
August 12, 2015
OFCCP created a checklist tool
to help federal contractors assess their outreach in relation to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. While the tool is not required and does not ensure compliance, it is intended to help contractors determine if they are on the right track.
2015 VETS-4212 Reporting is Open
August 7, 2015
The VETS-4212 website
is open for data submissions as the deadline is September 30. For questions, contact the help desk at 866-237-0275
Comments to OFCCP About Functional Affirmative Action Plan Directive
July 16, 2015
The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, posted a notice in the federal register
requesting comments until September 14, 2015 about its directive
regarding functional affirmative action plans, which focus on employees from specific functions or units as opposed to a particular establishment or location. Federal contractors can submit comments electronically
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Overtime
July 6, 2015
The Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update overtime regulations. The NPRM was published
in the Federal Register on July 6, 2015. Comments are being collected until September 4, 2015.
Reminder: Make Websites Accessible
June 26, 2015
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed "Statements of Interest" in cases against Harvard
filed by the National Association of the Deaf. The lawsuits allege that the universities violated the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act because online video content was not captioned. This serves as a good reminder that the DOJ expects public accommodations to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities, despite the absence of a final regulation on the subject.
OFCCP Website Adds Information on Visa Denials for Contractors’ Employees
June 3, 2015
The U.S. Department of Labor’s OFCCP website
was updated to include recent information detailing the proper course of action for federal contractors whose employees or prospective employees are denied a visa by a foreign government. If the contractor suspects that the denial is based on a prohibited factor, such as the employee’s race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, OFCCP outlines a few guidelines
for resolving the issue.
OSHA Publishes Guide to Providing Restroom Access for Transgendered Employees
June 1, 2015
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA
) released a best practices guide
to providing restroom access for transgendered employees in the workplace. The guide outlines a few policy options, as well as specific federal, state, and local regulations for restroom access.
OFCCP Posts New Sample AAPs
May 27, 2015
OFCCP added sample Affirmative Action Plans (AAPs)
to its website for informational purposes. The AAP sample plans were designed for companies with fewer than 150 employees, but contain information that larger employers can use for guidance. The three sample plans have specific areas of focus, including: Executive Order 11246
(Equal Employment Opportunity), Section 503
, and VEVRAA
OFCCP Decreases VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark to 7 Percent
April 21, 2015
As a result of its annual review of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark, OFCCP changed the national veterans hiring benchmark to 7 percent – which is slightly less than the previous benchmark of 7.2 percent. OFCCP also updated the national and state information for federal contractors and subcontractors who use an individualized hiring benchmark. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor
EEOC Proposes Rule on Company Wellness Programs
April 16, 2015
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on employer wellness programs. The proposed rule
aims to change the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and interpretive guidance for company health programs. The rule, if enacted, would enforce regulations
- Ensuring that all wellness programs are voluntary
- Mandating that medical information obtained as part of a wellness program must be kept confidential
- Requiring companies to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities to participate in a wellness program
A public comment
period for the proposed rule is open until June 19, 2015.
LGBT Workplace Discrimination Order Goes into Effect
April 8, 2015
President Obama’s LGBT Workplace Discrimination Executive Order
is effective. Signed by the President on July 21, 2014
, the executive order bans federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. The new law also provides protection for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees of government contractors. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's OFCCP website
Help OFCCP Shape Smarter Regulations
March 13, 2015
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release stating that it is reviewing existing regulations to update rules that could be out of date, ineffective, insufficient, or burdensome to contractors. Through an interactive "Shaping Smarter Regulations
" website, the DOL is asking the public for ideas about which rules should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or even repealed. The open suggestion period will end on April 1, 2015.
LGBT Resources for Federal Contractors
February 10, 2015
were provided by OFCCP and include information from both the public and private sectors, and will be updated periodically. This non-exhaustive directory contains organizations and other entities that offer resources and guidance to employers around issues related to creating an inclusive workforce for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.
Employing Individuals with Disabilities Resource Guide
February 3, 2015
"Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities
" is a guide that identifies relevant federal and federally funded resources for employers looking to recruit, hire, retain, and promote individuals with disabilities. This resource was released by the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative at the White House Summit on Disability and Employment.
Sex Discrimination NPRM
January 28, 2015
the publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise and replace its Sex Discrimination Guidelines. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register. View and comment here
OFCCP Posts Two New FAQs
January 20, 2015
OFCCP added two new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to its website concerning the new VETS-4212 reporting form and voluntary self-identification requirement for protected veterans. The first FAQ
addresses the process of inviting self-identification of protected veterans at the post-offer stage, and the second FAQ
explains whether contactors may continue to invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as a protected veteran.