The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its FY 2011 budget request on February 1, including descriptions of several planned enforcement initiatives for OFCCP. Among the highlights are the following:
- “OFCCP will select two industries and conduct an industry-based establishment compliance evaluation study in FY 2010 to identify a baseline measure of compliance. A random sample of establishments in each industry will be selected for compliance evaluations from each industry. In FY 2013, these establishments will be re-evaluated, depending on the number and type of issues identified. The re-evaluation results will be compared to those of the FY 2010 findings. The difference in compliance outcomes will serve as a comparative measure of OFCCP’s impact on compliance. Ideally, given an appropriate sample size, OFCCP may be able to draw inferences about the state of compliance within the industry in FY 2013. Using this approach, OFCCP will test whether previously evaluated contractors achieve a greater degree in compliance between FY 2010 and FY 2013 than other establishments that were not audited in the random sample. This method provides a measure of recidivism. If this model is successful, OFCCP will identify additional industries for evaluation using this approach in the future.”
- “OFCCP will also conduct a corporate, multi-establishment compliance evaluation approach designed to assess whether OFCCP’s activities within a single corporation leads to increased compliance by the other establishments within the same corporation. Using the Corporate Management Compliance Evaluation list, which uses neutral selection criteria, OFCCP will identify the first eligible corporation on each regional list for a multi-establishment corporate-wide review. A random sample of establishments from each corporation will be drawn for compliance evaluations. One half of the establishments will be scheduled for compliance review in FY 2010; the second half of establishments will be scheduled in FY 2011. Using this approach, OFCCP will measure whether subsequent evaluations result in a higher compliance rate than those of the first group, indicating that OFCCP has had some impact on corporate practice.”
- “Finally, in support of the Department’s goal of ensuring a voice in the workplace, OFCCP will complete at least 10 investigations in individual VEVRAA and disability discrimination cases. OFCCP will broaden its focus to include individual cases of discrimination to ensure that individuals as well as classes are given a fair chance in the workplace. Additional measures will be considered and added as OFCCP is in the process of reviewing and refining its individual complaint investigation procedures.”
- "OFCCP plans to increase compliance among the most persistent and egregious violators. The agency has contracted with an outside consultant to develop and test a statistical model to target violators. The statistical model will be implemented in FY 2011.”
- “OFCCP will broaden its enforcement efforts and focus on identifying and resolving both individual and systemic discrimination… Our review processes will also focus on individual cases of discrimination, including harassment, retaliation, termination, and failure to promote.”
- “The Federal Contractor Compliance Manual will be overhauled. A comprehensive training program and system will be developed to help augment the skill sets of OFCCP’s workforce.”
- “The agency’s scheduling process, the way in which it determines which contractors it will review, will be overhauled. The process for referring cases for litigation will be reengineered.”
- “The agency is recruiting and plans to hire mostly front-line Equal Opportunity Specialists, with a special outreach emphasis on veterans and individuals with disabilities.”
- “OFCCP has committed to resolve, at a minimum, 80 cases of discrimination under E.O. 11246, a seventy-seven percent increase of the FY 2009 goal of 45 cases. These cases will prioritize wage discrimination cases, promotion, and entry level based discrimination. OFCCP will also increase the percentage of compliance evaluations that resolve compensation discrimination. For this measurement, FY 2010 will serve as a baseline year as OFCCP continues to review and refine its compensation discrimination investigative procedures.”
Some of the initiatives listed have been discussed by OFCCP representatives in recent years, while others appear to be significant shifts in the way the agency operates. Contractors should stay tuned to see how these general plans translate into enforcement activities in the coming months.
The full OFCCP report is available on the DOL web site at http://www.dol.gov/dol/budget/2011/PDF/CBJ-2011-V2-04.pdf.