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.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has released its 2022 Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark. The new benchmark, effective March 31, 2022, is 5.5 percent, a decrease from the 2021 benchmark of 5.6 percent. The VEVRAA hiring benchmark was established in 2014, and this year marks its eighth reduction.
On March 21, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it would publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), entitled “Pre-enforcement Notice and Conciliation Procedures,” in the Federal Register on March 22, 2022. OFCCP’s proposal would modify a 2020 final rule that had codified various procedures to resolve potential employment discrimination.
While the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 205) is stalled in the U.S. Senate, the White House has called for action on issues relating to pay equity. On March 15, 2022, which was women’s “Equal Pay Day” for 2022 in the United States, President Biden issued an executive order “promoting pay equity and transparency” within the federal workforce and among federal contractors.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced its effort to modernize the agency’s EEO data collection by revising the procedures for professional employer organizations (PEOs), administrative services organizations (ASOs), human resource outsourcing organizations (HROs), and other similar organizations (“third-party human resource organizations”) to file EEO-1 Component 1 on behalf of a “client employer” or “client company.”
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently posted information on the EEO-1 landing page stating that the 2021 EEO-1 filing platform is tentatively scheduled to open on April 12, 2022, with the filing deadline tentatively set for May 17, 2022. This approximately four-week filing period is significantly shorter than the length of time provided for recent EEO-1 filing periods.
It is a new year and that means a fresh round of compliance reporting obligations for many companies. Here’s what lies ahead for 2022.
As we reported earlier this year, on August 31, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the new system that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) developed for federal contractors to submit affirmative action programs (AAPs). The new system is designed to provide covered federal contractors a method of entering, tracking, and submitting AAPs for review by OFCCP.
On November 5, 2021, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 9, restricting Alabama employers from requiring COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. The law took effect immediately.
In order to slow the transmission rate of COVID-19 and safeguard the health of people in Puerto Rico, Governor Pedro Pierluisi recently issued a series of executive orders mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in certain instances.
On September 1, 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published its Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL) identifying 400 construction federal contractors and federally assisted contractors and subcontractors for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021), which runs from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.
At long last, on August 31, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the new system that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) developed for federal contractors to submit affirmative action programs (AAPs). The Affirmative Action Program Verification Interface (AAP-VI) is designed to provide covered federal contractors a method of entering, tracking, and submitting AAPs for review by OFCCP.
On August 18, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the prior August 23, 2021, EEO-1 filing deadline for the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports has been moved to October 25, 2021. The EEOC cited the “continuing impact of the pandemic on business operations” as the justification for this two-month extension of the earlier deadline.
On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to outline the standards and procedures that it will use to administer President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14026, which he signed on April 27, 2021. Executive Order 14026 proposed an increase to the minimum wage for workers performing work on federal contracts to $15 per hour beginning January 30, 2022. The proposed rule applies only to federal contractors. It builds upon Executive Order 13658 signed by then-president Barack Obama that established a minimum wage of $10.10 for federal contractors with annual increases for inflation. The current rate is $10.95 per hour; the minimum wage for tipped federal contract workers is $7.65 per hour. Below is a brief summary of the scope of the DOL’s proposed rule and changes, if finalized.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it is loosening the requirement on companies to provide notice to the federal agency of acquisitions, mergers, and spinoffs. By way of background, in addition to requiring the submission and certification of two years of EEO-1 reports, the EEOC had created a new filing platform for the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings, which are due by August 23, 2021. The transition to the new platform and the requirement to file two years of EEO-1 reports has resulted in a rocky EEO-1 filing cycle. As a continued sign of these difficulties, the EEOC implemented a major change to the procedure for handling mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs for EEO-1 reporting.
On July 1, 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Corporate Scheduling Announcement List (CSAL identifying 750 Supply and Service establishment-based full compliance evaluations, Corporate Management Compliance Evaluations, Functional Affirmative Action Program (FAAP) Reviews and University Reviews. OFCCP is not required by law to publish the CSAL, and the CSAL is distinct from the scheduling letter, which is the Office of Management Budget’s (OMB) approved letter “sent to an establishment to start the compliance evaluation process.”
Our previous articles in this spotlight series on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) highlighted the agency’s enforcement and litigation metrics and political composition of the Commission—matters that underscore how the Commission has and will address current pressing policy issues, such as employer-provided COVID-19 vaccination incentives. In particular, the unique “upside down” nature of the Commission (i.e., two Democrats who control the agenda but are outnumbered by three Republicans) will impact the substantive issues that the Commission will address in the coming months. In this third part of our series, we highlight some of the potential substantive policy developments that employers may want to track as the EEOC navigates through 2021 and beyond.
On June 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it is extending the July 19, 2021, deadline to submit and certify 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 reports to Monday, August 23, 2021. The EEOC still “encourage[s] eligible employers to file the required EEO-1 Component 1 report(s) as soon as possible.
The first part of this two-part blog series focused on the Biden administration’s first 100 days and reviewed the administration’s legislative plans. The second part of the series addresses policy developments occurring at the executive branch agencies and independent agencies.
April 30, 2021, marked President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office, and his administration has wasted little time advancing its policy priorities. At this moment, the administration is focusing most of its attention on repealing much of the policy accomplishments of the previous administration but can be expected to advance its own proposals in short time. Additionally, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are looking for ways around the U.S. Senate’s legislative filibuster in order to advance their ambitious legislative agenda. Below is a very brief outline of the major labor and employment legislative actions of President Biden’s first 100 days.
On April 27, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a new executive order (EO) requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to pay a $15.00 minimum wage to the thousands of workers who are working on or in connection with federal contracts. The new EO, titled “Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” requires contractors to implement the higher minimum wage requirements by early 2022.
After the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) delayed the collection of 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 data, April 26, 2021, now marks the opening of the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 filing site. The EEOC had extended the data collection period from the usual 10 weeks to 12 weeks, resulting in a July 19, 2021, filing deadline.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on May 7, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) delayed the 2019 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection. On March 29, 2021, the EEOC announced that the 2019 and 2020 Component 1 data collection would open on Monday, April 26, 2021.
On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—a $1.9 trillion economic relief package. While the legislation marks the first major legislative victory for President Biden and the administration, it is the sixth federal legislative relief package aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The legislation continues some programs established in these previous efforts, but it also adds some important components. Set forth below are some of the major provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act.
President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s flurry of executive actions upon his inauguration into office signals diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) as a significant area of focus for the administration. As of January 26, 2021, President Biden has signed a total of more than 40 executive orders and actions aimed at addressing and reversing some of the most controversial orders of the prior administration, including a number of actions addressing DE&I matters. One of these—Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (Executive Order (EO) 13985)—includes the much-anticipated revocation of EO 13950’s ban on diversity training content for federal agencies, contractors, and grant recipients.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021. President Biden hit the ground running, issuing 17 executive orders, proclamations, memoranda, and similar actions on his first day. Many of these presidential actions have impacts that go beyond the day-to-day activities of the workplace, but employers may still want to have an understanding of these policy changes. Set forth below is a summary of the actions that President Biden took on his first day in office.
According to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance website’s leadership team page, Jenny Yang has replaced Craig Leen as director of the agency. Yang previously served on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 2013 to 2018 and served as a commissioner, vice chair, and chair for the agency (the latter from 2014 to 2017). Yang spearheaded the EEOC’s drive to collect pay data from private employers as part of the EEO-1 report.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release on January 12, 2021, notifying EEO-1 filers that the EEO-1 filing platform will not open until April 2021. This is of particular interest for employers because the EEOC delayed the 2019 EEO-1 filings, which would normally have been due in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic—meaning that both the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 filings will be due this year.
Federal contractors and subcontractors have numerous affirmative action obligations and only so much time each day to devote to compliance. As a result, some requirements may tend to fall by the wayside as contractors focus on the more critical issues of ensuring equal employment opportunities in matters such as hiring, promotions, and pay. Even the smallest of the technical regulatory obligations, however, are important and serve a purpose—and, in fact, they can significantly enhance contractors’ affirmative action efforts by requiring regular, critical review and analysis of personnel practices.