DOL Violated Contractor’s 4th Amendment Rights

Last year, DCI blogged about a case involving Baker LLC and the Department of Labor in which the court ruling favored OFCCP’s audit strategy of prioritizing the compliance investigation based on oral complaints related to mistreatment of African American employees. However, US District Judge Susan Dlott overturned the ruling on April 6th, 2018. 

Background - OFCCP brought a case against Baker LLC alleging denial of access.  Baker LLC argued that OFCCP was denied access because they unlawfully prioritized an onsite investigation based on oral complaints. The OFCCP maintained that their selection for the audit was based on a neutral process, and audits are often re-prioritized if there is credible information related to workplace discrimination. Baker LLC was ordered to allow the OFCCP to complete the review.

Recent Developments - Both OFCCP and Baker LLC filed motions for summary judgment. Baker LLC alleged that OFCCP violated 4th Amendment rights and the Paperwork Reduction Act. U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott ruled in favor of Baker LLC, finding that the Department of Labor did violate 4th Amendment privacy rights by moving up the regularly scheduled review, thus removing neutrality of the process. However, Judge Dlott ruled in favor of OFCCP on the Paperwork Reduction Act, noting that it did not apply because OFCCP specifically requested documents related to Baker LLC and ordered compliance with OFCCP’s future requests.

Baker LLC may still be audited in the future in accordance with the neutral audit scheduling process for construction contractors. Baker LLC will be due for an onsite review when the construction contractors scheduled before Baker LLC have been reviewed. At that time, Baker LLC will have to comply with all OFCCP requests per the audit process used for all construction contractors.

Please note that this case is specifically related to federally assisted construction contracts and has no bearing on supply and service contracts. The full text of this case here. We will keep you updated if there are new developments in this case. Stay tuned.

By Rachel Monroe, Associate Consultant and Vinaya Sakpal, Associate Consultant at DCI Consulting Group

 

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