Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update
Connie Bertram

Connie Bertram

Partner

Connie N. Bertram is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Connie is the head of the DC Labor & Employment practice, and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation, and Government Contractor Compliance & Relations Groups.

Connie concentrates her practice on labor and employment, executive, whistleblower, government contractor and employee mobility counseling and litigation. She is frequently tapped to conduct confidential internal investigations involving executive-level employees, including claims of discrimination, harassment and code of conduct violations. She counsels on, investigates and litigates restrictive covenant and trade secret disputes between employers and former employees. Connie has defended complex employment, whistleblower and restrictive covenant litigation across the United States, including numerous disputes, discrimination and harassment claims involving executive-level employees, as well as claims brought under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, the False Claims Act and other federal and state employment and whistleblower provisions.

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U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Votes to Defund Revised Form EEO-1 Requiring Disclosure of Pay Data

On July 13, 2017, the House Committee on Appropriations voted to defund efforts to implement the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) revised Form EEO-1.  If the Appropriations Bill is ultimately passed, it will severely limit the EEOC’s ability to implement its revised EEO-1.… Continue Reading

Google Prevails, In Part (And For Now), In Compensation Data Dispute With OFCCP

On July 14, 2017, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) for the Department of Labor issued a Recommended Decision and Order (the “Opinion”) in the case brought by the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) against Google over Google’s refusal to turn over certain employee data as part of a compliance audit.  The ALJ’s thorough … Continue Reading

Contractors with Access to Classified Information Now Subject to Heightened Reporting Requirements

Effective June 12, 2017, executive branch agency employees, contractors and subcontractors who have access to classified information or hold sensitive positions must report personal trips abroad as well as a wide range of foreign contacts. This new security directive, “Reporting Requirements for Personnel With Access to Classified Information or Who Hold a Sensitive Position,” was … Continue Reading

Labor Secretary Defends OFCCP-EEOC Merger

As previously reported, the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 includes a plan to merge the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Pragmatically, this would add the OFCCP’s broad responsibilities to an already overburdened EEOC, without providing the EEOC any additional funding to accomplish its … Continue Reading

Trump Administration’s Budget Proposes Major Changes For OFCCP

On May 23, 2017, the Trump Administration released its proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. Not surprisingly, the budget proposes significant changes for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”).  In the Department of Labor’s budget proposal, the Administration has laid the groundwork to merge the OFCCP into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) by … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces New Veteran Hiring Benchmark

The OFCCP has announced its 2017 Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Benchmark. The new benchmark is 6.7%, slightly lower than the previous year’s 6.9% benchmark. The VEVRAA Benchmark is the figure which federal contractors must use to assess the effectiveness of their outreach programs for the hiring of veterans. Contractors may either use the OFCCP’s … Continue Reading

Renewed OFCCP Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form Now Available

Earlier today, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that the Office of Management and Budget renewed the voluntary self-identification form for individuals with disabilities for an additional three years. This renewed Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability form is exactly the same as the prior form, except that it has a new expiration date … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Will Retain LGBT Protections for Government Contractor Employees

Although the first eleven days of the Trump Administration have been full of activity and controversy, federal government contractors have been waiting to see if President Trump will undo or modify the compliance obligations imposed on them through the numerous Executive Orders issued by President Obama. This morning (January 31, 2017) the White House announced … Continue Reading

The Department Of Homeland Security Proposes New Rules Affecting Federal Government Contractors

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued three proposed rules expanding data security and privacy requirements for contractors and subcontractors. The proposed rules build upon other recent efforts by various federal agencies to strengthen safeguarding requirements for sensitive government information.  Given the increasing emphasis on data security and privacy, contractors and subcontractors are … Continue Reading

OFCCP Sues Google, Seeking Pay Data

On January 4, 2017, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sued Google, claiming that the tech giant is illegally withholding information about the compensation it provides its employees.  OFCCP seeks the information as part of an ongoing review of Google’s compliance with the various equal protection laws enforced by the OFCCP.… Continue Reading

BREAKING: FEDERAL JUDGE ENJOINS IMPLEMENTATION OF PART OF FAIR PAY AND SAFE WORKPLACES (“BLACKLISTING”) EXECUTIVE ORDER, REGULATIONS, AND GUIDANCE

On October 24, 2016, just one day prior to effective date of the Regulations and Guidance implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (collectively the “Rule”), Judge Marcia Crone of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas enjoined the implementation of almost every provision of the Rule.  Specifically, Judge Crone … Continue Reading

BREAKING: DOL Publishes Final Rule Requiring Federal Contractors To Provide Paid Sick Leave To Employees

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule implementing Executive Order 13706 (the “Final Rule”), which requires certain federal contractors and subcontractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  Our previous blog posts on this development can be found here and here.… Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces “Preassessment” Program For Government Contractors

Loyal readers of this blog are well aware of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and corresponding regulations which go into effect next month.  Those looking to learn more about the topic can access our recent webinar and blog post on the “Blacklisting” regulations and what contractors should be doing now to prepare … Continue Reading

Proskauer Hosts Webinar On New “Blacklisting” Regulations

On September 13, 2016, Proskauer Partners Connie Bertram and Guy Brenner hosted “The Final Blacklisting Regulations:  What Contractors Need to Know” webinar as a follow-up to our blog post “FAR Council Issues Final Rule and DOL Issues Final Guidance on Fair Pay and Safe Workplace”.  For those who were unable to attend the webinar, it … Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS:  FAR Council Issues Final Rule and DOL Issues Final Guidance on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (“Blacklisting”) Executive Order, Effective October 25, 2016

Today, the Federal Acquisition Regulations Council (“FAR Council”) and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its Final Rule and Guidance implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”), commonly referred to as the “blacklisting” rule.  In total, the Final Rule, Guidance, and accompanying commentary totaled nearly 900 pages, responding to nearly … Continue Reading

BREAKING: FAR Council Publishes Final Rule On Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (“Blacklisting”) Executive Order

Today, the Federal Acquisition Regulation Council (“FAR Council”) published the final rule regarding the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”), better known as the “blacklisting” rule.  The Order imposes a host of new obligations on government contractors with more than $500,000 in government contracts, including an obligation to report various labor law … Continue Reading

Proskauer Attends And Presents At The Industry Liaison Group’s National Conference

From August 3-5, the Industry Liaison Group, a community of government contractors and members of the government contractor community, held its National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event featured various speakers on a multitude of topics, including pay equity and achieving equality in the workplace. Proskauer attorneys Connie Bertram, Guy Brenner, and Alex Weinstein … Continue Reading

New Sex Discrimination Guidelines Take Effect August 15, 2016

We have previously written about the updated sex discrimination guidelines recently published by OFCCP. Among other mandates, the guidelines require federal government contractors to provide paternity leave on an equal basis to maternity leave.  The guidelines also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sex-based stereotypes, such as whether an individual dresses in conformity with … Continue Reading

NLRB Takes Steps To Facilitate Sharing Of Federal Contractor Labor Law Violations In Anticipation Of The Final Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces (a.k.a “Blacklisting”) Rules

In a July 1, 2016 memorandum (OM 16-23), the Office of the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced that it was beginning to take steps to comply with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”) – the regulations for which have not yet been finalized.  The Order imposes … Continue Reading

OFCCP Renews Compliance Investigation Scheduling Letter

On July 1, 2016, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that it had renewed its Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing for use during compliance investigations.  The renewal lasts for three years.  In announcing the renewal, the OFCCP noted that it made certain “clarifying edits,” designed to “ensure contractors understand the information being … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces New Veteran Hiring Benchmark

Yesterday, OFCCP announced its 2016 Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Benchmark. The new benchmark is 6.9%, slightly lower than the previous year’s 7% benchmark. The VEVRAA Benchmark is the figure which federal contractors must use to assess the effectiveness of their outreach programs for the hiring of veterans. Contractors may either use the … Continue Reading

OFCCP Publishes Final Rule Modernizing Sex Discrimination Guidelines

For the first time in more than four decades, OFCCP revised its Sex Discrimination Guidelines prohibiting discrimination by government contractors on the basis of sex (the “final rule”). The final rule applies to employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts totaling $10,000 or more over a 12-month period.  The final rule outlines sex-based discriminatory practices that … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Publishes Spring Agency Rule List Highlighting Key Dates For Final Publication of Controversial Regulations

The Obama administration has released its Spring Agency Rule List.  The list provides updates on the priorities of the Obama administration as it relates to pending rules and regulations.  The agenda notes that the Obama administration aims to issue the Final Rule implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”) by August … Continue Reading

OMB Approves Revised Directive Regarding Functional Affirmative Action Programs

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) approved the Depart of Labor’s revised directive regarding Functional Affirmative Action Programs (“FAAP”).  The revised directive amends the procedures for applying for a FAAP and clarifies the obligations that apply to contractors with approved FAAP Agreements.  The revised directive replaces the prior directive … Continue Reading
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