On August 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued an Office of Management and Budget-approved, revised Supply and Service Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, which is effective through August 31, 2026. OFCCP also issued a new round of Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters for 1,000 federal contractors two weeks later on September 8, 2023.
The 2022 EEO-1 filing platform will open on October 31, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on September 1, 2023. The deadline for all filings will be December 5, 2023.
How does the Supreme Court of the United States’ ban on affirmative action in higher education affect government contractors? In short—it doesn’t. Covered federal contractors and subcontractors must continue to comply with their regulatory obligations under Executive Order (EO) 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. However, federal contractors can expect that their diversity efforts will receive more scrutiny going forward.
On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down affirmative action in college admissions, leaving employers to wrestle with the implications of the decision for various diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The decision also contained a robust debate over the government’s race and ethnicity categories, which the university respondents used in their admissions processes. Many employers use those same race and ethnicity categories for various government reporting and recordkeeping purposes.
Two days prior to the 2023 contractor portal certification deadline, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) updated the certification guidance on its contractor portal frequently asked questions (FAQ) page. The agency did not make a public announcement about the changes, other than changing the “last updated” date at the bottom of the FAQs to June 27, 2023.
Tennessee has permanently extended its COVID-19 statute under an enactment that removed the sunset provision of the state’s COVID-19 statute, which was set to expire on July 1, 2023.
On June 5, 2023, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) identifying 250 federal and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors. OFCCP’s CSAL is a “courtesy notification” to contractors, with a compliance review beginning only upon the establishment location’s receipt of a scheduling letter.
Although marijuana has been legalized for medicinal or recreational use, or both, in thirty-eight states, it is still illegal under federal law, and drug testing is required to comply with a number of federal laws, including the Motor Carrier Safety Act. In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not prohibit workplace safety incentive programs or post-incident drug testing.
On May 1, 2023, the Biden administration announced that it will end the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal contractors on May 11, 2023—which is the day that the COVID-19 public health emergency will end.
On May 1, 2023, the Biden administration announced that it would be ending all of its various COVID-19 vaccination requirements on May 11, 2023, the same date as the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency will end, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has begun the process to terminate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’s (CMS) interim final rule requiring CMS-certified healthcare facilities to implement and enforce a policy that all covered staff within their covered facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19.
On April 25, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) revised Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form (CC-305).
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) posted an updated final notice of the agency’s impending release of EEO-1 Type 2 (Consolidated) reports for 2016–2020 to all entities that may be subject to the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The deadline for contractors appearing on the non-objectors list to respond to OFCCP has been extended from February 7, 2023, to 11:59 p.m. EST on February 17, 2023.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is preparing to release the 2016-2020 EEO-1 Type 2 (Consolidated) reports of federal contractors that did not previously object to disclosure. OFCCP’s List of Non-Objectors identifies more than 13,000 entities whose EEO-1 reports OFCCP plans to release in response to the FOIA request.
On January 20, 2023, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) identifying 500 establishments of federal supply and service contractors and subcontractors for compliance reviews.
On January 12, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld most of a district court’s injunction blocking the federal contractor vaccine mandate in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
On December 19, 2022, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 federal contractor vaccine mandate. The 2-1 panel decision in State of Louisiana v. Biden found that to allow the mandate would result in an “enormous,” “transformative,” and “truly unprecedented” expansion of the powers of the president without clear authorization from Congress.
We recently reported on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request covering government contractors’ 2016–2020 Type 2 EEO-1 reports announced in the Federal Register, pursuant to which contractors had until October 19, 2022, to object to the disclosure of their data. The requesting investigative reporter and nonprofit news organization subsequently sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under FOIA, alleging that the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) violated FOIA in response to the FOIA requests. OFCCP began contacting companies for which it claims to have no record of objections to the FOIA request, via email on November 22, 2022.
On November 10, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed revisions to its Employer Information Report (EEO-1) Component 1 data collection to streamline the process for large employers with multiple establishments.
On November 15, 2022, an investigative reporter and a nonprofit news organization sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The investigative reporter previously submitted multiple FOIA requests for federal contractors’ and first-tier subcontractors’ Type 2 Consolidated EEO-1 Report data to the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently issued updated guidance on the federal contractor vaccine mandate and COVID-19 safety requirements.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has extended the deadline for federal contractors and first-tier subcontractors to submit objections to a broad Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by an investigative reporter.
On August 31, 2022, the Biden administration updated its Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance on the federal contractor COVID-19 vaccine mandate. According to the new guidance, “the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce Executive Order 14042.
On August 26, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit narrowed the scope of a nationwide injunction that had barred enforcement of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 federal contractor vaccine mandate. In December 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia had issued a nationwide injunction, finding that President Biden had likely exceeded his authority under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act when he issued Executive Order 14042.
On August 24, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it had updated its guidance for educational institutions with federal contracts and/or subcontracts.
On August 22, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced it will launch a new online platform whereby “contracting officers, contractors, and applicants seeking federal assistance for construction projects (such as a state [Department of Transportation])” can securely upload details about an awarded federal or federally-assisted construction contract or subcontract.
On August 18, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued unpublished notice of a broad Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that impacts the federal contracting community.
With the first six months of 2022 completed, this is a good time to review a busy government reporting season.
On March 31, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its second directive of the year, Directive 2022-02, entitled “Effective Compliance Evaluations and Enforcement.”
Though the 2021 EEO-1 landing page labels the opening and closing dates for the 2021 EEO-1 filing cycle as “tentative,” the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has notified prior filers that the 2021 filing platform will “officially open” on April 12, 2022, and close on May 17, 2022.