Speaking at the annual NILG conference, on August 2, 2023, OFCCP Acting Director Michele Hodge addressed hundreds of attendees in a wide ranging speech, discussing the agency’s priorities and initiatives.  Among other highlights of her address:

  • Acting Director Hodge made clear that OFCCP does not view the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in higher education as having any impact on the agency, stating there is a “bright line between” that ruling and OFCCP’s work.  In that vein, Acting Director Hodge pledged that OFCCP will continue to use “every tool at our disposal” to ensure employees of federal government contractors are provided with equal employment opportunities. 
  • In perhaps the most noteworthy item of her address, Acting Director Hodge announced that in the “coming days” OFCCP will issue its final rule on procedures for addressing potential discrimination in audits, which will scale back many contractor-friendly provisions in the agency’s existing rule governing its processes.   Acting Director Hodge promised guidance on the final rule would be published on the final rule’s effective date. 
  • Acting Director Hodge also discussed the agency’s enforcement efforts.  Among other things, she stated the agency is “tightening up” audits by denying “unnecessary extensions,” while also strengthening its data analytics systems by investing in tools to “synthesize voluminous data.”  She noted the agency has recently hired 100 new employees, with a focus on new compliance officers.
  • She addressed artificial intelligence, noting the agency is aware of developments in this space, and emphasizing that employers are responsible for ensuring their AI systems do not result in a disparate impact on protected groups. 
  • Acting Director Hodge provided details about the contractor certification portal, stating that in the latest certification cycle, which ended on June 29, 2023, over 9,000 companies certified affirmative action program compliance.  This reflected an 8.3% increase from the prior year.  In addition, there was a 24% increase in total number of certified establishments in the 2023 certification cycle as compared to the prior year.

Proskauer is attending the NILG conference in Phoenix this week.  Yesterday, Proskauer partner Guy Brenner addressed the conference, along with co-panelists Beth Ronnenburg, President of Berkshire Associates and Dr. Rick Holt, Partner at Resolution Economics, on OFCCP audit trends.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Guy Brenner Guy Brenner

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group, co-head of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Group and a member…

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group, co-head of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Group and a member of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues, medical and disability leave matters, employee/independent contractor classification issues, and the investigation and litigation of whistleblower claims. He assists employers in negotiating and drafting executive agreements and employee mobility agreements, including non-competition, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements, and also conducts and supervises internal investigations. He also regularly advises clients on pay equity matters, including privileged pay equity analyses.

Guy advises federal government contractors and subcontractors all aspects of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations and requirements, including preparing affirmative action plans, responding to desk audits, and managing on-site audits.

Guy is a former clerk to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court of the District of Columbia.

Photo of Olympia Karageorgiou Olympia Karageorgiou

Olympia Karageorgiou is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

During her time at Proskauer, Olympia has focused on a wide range of employment matters, including employment discrimination litigation, due diligence, and policies, handbooks…

Olympia Karageorgiou is an associate in the Labor Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

During her time at Proskauer, Olympia has focused on a wide range of employment matters, including employment discrimination litigation, due diligence, and policies, handbooks and training, among others. Olympia has gained experience across a wide variety of industries including financial services, education, sports, and media and entertainment.

Olympia earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was co-director of the Clinical Student Board and a member of the Reentry Clinic. While at Yale, she was also Academic Development co-chair of the Yale Black Law Students Association and served as a director of the Rebellious Lawyering Conference.

Prior to law school, Olympia was an AmeriCorps member in Dallas, Texas, focusing on issues related to education and social equity.