The proposed merger for fiscal year 2018 is on its last legs. The merger was originally intended to streamline government processes and cut costs as part of the Trump Administration’s new focus, but has encountered several barriers in practice.
Acting Director of the OFCCP, Thomas Dowd, has detailed these barriers in a letter sent to The Institute for Workplace Equality. He acknowledges two reasons why the merger would prove difficult for both agencies.
The first of which concerns the transfer of authority that would have to occur from the Department of Labor to the EEOC. Legislative action is required for this transfer, because the enforcement of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act falls under the purview of the Department of Labor. Additionally, Executive Order 11246 would have to be amended to reflect this change.
Second, both agencies appear to work in the same regulatory space, but from differing sides. The EEOC is primarily a complaint driven agency, whereas the OFCCP is primarily a proactive auditing agency. Combining these agencies would increase the overall access and authority that the government would have over contractors. As such, the proposal has not been popular with employers at large.
The merger proposal has had no budget support in either the House or the Senate, and therefore looks to be tabled indefinitely.
By Rachel Monroe, M.S., HR Analyst at DCI Consulting