Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update

EFFECTIVE TODAY: FAR Barring Certain Contractor Confidentiality Agreements

Today (January 19, 2017), the Employee Internal Confidentiality Agreements or Statements Federal Acquisition Regulation (the “Rule”) goes into effect.  The Rule prohibits the government from contracting with companies that require employees or subcontractors to sign “internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or subcontractors from lawfully reporting such waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal department or agency authorized to receive such information.”  The commentary to the Rule explains that “designated” representatives are employees of the applicable agency’s Office of Inspector General.  The Rule applies to all solicitations and contracts (including contracts for Commercial Off-the-Shelf items (“COTS”)) using fiscal year 2015 funds or funds from any subsequent fiscal year. Continue Reading

Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Requiring State Contractors To Report Job Title And Pay Data

On January 9, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order that requires state contractors to disclose, in addition to data on gender, race, and ethnicity that is already required, job title and salary data for all of their employees working on state contracts (or their entire workforce if those working on state contracts cannot be identified). The Order, “Ensuring Pay Equity By State Contractors,” compels state contractors to disclose this data for all state contracts, agreements, and procurements issued and executed on or after June 1, 2017. 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.

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Effective January 1, 2017: New Federal Contractor Paycheck Transparency, Independent Contractor Notice, and Paid Sick Leave Obligations

On January 1, 2017, new federal contract paycheck transparency, independent contractor notification, and paid sick leave requirements go into effect.  Below we summarize the key elements of these new regulatory requirements.

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Thomas M. Dowd Named OFCCP’s Acting Director

With Patricia Shiu stepping down as Director of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) on November 6, 2016, Thomas M. Dowd has been named OFCCP’s Acting Director, effective November 7, 2016.  He will serve until the new Trump Administration’s Secretary of Labor names a permanent director.

Mr. Dowd previously served as OFCCP’s career Deputy Director since 2011.

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 enjoined the implementation of the Rule’s new labor law violation reporting requirements and the Rule’s arbitration agreement restrictions.  Judge Crone declined to enjoin the paycheck transparency provisions, which go into effect on January 1, 2017.

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Challenge To The Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces (“Blacklisting”) Rule To Be Heard On October 21, 2016

On October 7, 2016, the first lawsuit challenging the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (the “Order”) and its Final Rule and Guidance (collectively the “Rule”) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  The lawsuit, seeks a preliminary injunction preventing implementation of the Rule, declaratory judgment declaring the Rule invalid, and an order vacating the Rule.  A hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction will be heard by District Judge Marcia Crone on October 21, 2016.

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New Interim Rule Prohibits Federal Contractors From Retaliating Against Employees Who Discuss Compensation With Colleagues

On September 30, 2016, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration issued an interim rule titled “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information.” The interim rule implements Executive Order 13665 (the “Order”).  The Order, which President Obama signed on April 8, 2014, prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation.  Our prior blog posts on the Order can be found here and here.  The OFCCP published regulations implementing the Order on September 11, 2015.  Our blog post on those regulations can be found here.

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GAO Releases Detailed Report Criticizing The OFCCP

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has released a report critical of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) and making suggestions for improvement.  The report followed the GAO’s investigation into the OFCCP’s practices, including conducting interviews with 27 industry groups and 24 government contractors.

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