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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OFCCP Announces 2018 Veteran Hiring Benchmark

On March 30, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) released its 2018 Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRAA”) Benchmark. Effective March 31, 2018, the new benchmark is 6.4%, slightly lower than the previous year’s 6.7% benchmark. This is OFCCP’s fourth reduction of the benchmark, which has steadily declined since its inception in 2014. The … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces New Compliance Evaluation Experience Survey

This week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that it will be sending a survey to federal contractors in an effort to “continue improving communication, transparency, and timeliness during [its] compliance evaluations.” OFCCP’s survey appears to be the latest effort by the agency to establish a more cooperative relationship with the government … Continue Reading

Humana Settles Pay Bias Claims for $2.5 Million

Earlier this week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that it entered into a conciliation agreement with Humana Inc. (“Humana”) to resolve allegations that Humana paid hundreds of women at its Louisville, Kentucky headquarters less than their male coworkers. OFCCP asserts that in 2011 and 2012, Humana paid 753 women in consulting, … Continue Reading

OFCCP ISSUES FIRST DIRECTIVE UNDER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, federal contractors have been waiting to see what changes the new administration would make to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”). Thus far, the greatest change has been more style than substance, with OFCCP officials expressing a desire to have a better relationship with the government … Continue Reading

Proskauer Publishes Article on Federal Tax Bill’s #MeToo Provision

Connie Bertram and Emilie Adams published an article in the February issue of OFCCP Digest titled “Federal Tax Bill Offers a Nod to the #MeToo Movement.”  The article focuses on a provision in the recently-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that addresses corporate settlements involving claims of sexual harassment and abuse.  The provision prohibits companies … Continue Reading

POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN – What Every Government Contractor Needs To Know

Once again, a government shutdown seems inevitable.  During previous government shutdowns, government agencies and departments issued stop-work orders, grinding work on government projects and contracts to a halt.  Contractors were then faced with the difficult task of remaining in compliance with their obligations to their employees while work and funding for those contracts has ceased. … Continue Reading

Proskauer Publishes Article on State Salary History Bans

Connie Bertram and Emilie Adams published an article in the November/December issue of OFCCP Digest titled “States and Localities Step into the Breach on Pay Equity: New and Proposed Prohibitions on the Disclosure of Salary History.” The article focuses on recent laws passed by states and localities prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their … Continue Reading

OFCCP Settles Hiring Discrimination Case with LandCare USA, LLC

The Austin, Texas location of LandCare USA, LLC (the “Company”), a company providing landscaping services, recently entered into a conciliation agreement with the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) to settle claims that the Company had discriminated in its hiring of females, and non-Hispanic applicants in its Laborer job group.  The Company has agreed … Continue Reading

OFCCP Appoints New Director (Not Craig Leen)

Two weeks after reports emerged that a new director of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) had been appointed, according to the OFCCP’s website, Ondray T. Harris has been appointed as the next director of the OFCCP.  The OFCCP’s website lists former Acting Director Thomas Dowd as the Deputy Director of the agency, … Continue Reading

Reports: Craig Leen’s Appointment As OFCCP Director Remains Uncertain

As we previously reported, various media outlets reported earlier this month that Coral Gables City Attorney, Craig Leen, would be appointed Director of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”).  These reports came amid silence by the Trump administration as to the anticipated appointment. Since our last post, the confusion over Mr. Leen’s role … Continue Reading

Reports: New OFCCP Director Appointed

According to multiple sources, on November 13, 2017, Craig E. Leen, was appointed the new Director of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”).  Mr. Leen has been the City Attorney for Coral Gables, Florida since 2011.  He has also served as an adjunct professor of law for universities in Florida.  If the published … Continue Reading

OFCCP Files Its First Complaint Against A Federal Contractor During the Trump Administration

On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) filed its first Complaint against a federal contractor since President Trump took office. The Complaint alleges that contractor Advance 2000 Inc. (the “Contractor”) violated a June 2015 conciliation agreement with OFCCP by failing to submit required progress reports and failing to respond to … Continue Reading

Sanctions Award Strengthens Fight to Protect Confidential Company Records

On October 18, 2017, a federal district judge in Alaska ordered a former employee to pay nearly $170,000 of his ex-employer’s legal fees as sanction for removing nine attorney-client privileged documents prior to his termination. The ruling was based on a decision this summer that the former employee willfully and deliberately disobeyed established norms of … Continue Reading

OFCCP Issues Compliance Relief to Federal Contractors in Wake of Devastating Hurricanes

In the wake of the devastating series of hurricanes throughout the United States, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has provided compliance exemptions to federal contractors providing hurricane relief.  OFCCP has issued three National Interest Exemptions:  one for Hurricane Harvey; one for Hurricane Irma; and one for Hurricane Maria. The notices provide contractors … Continue Reading

Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Increase Announced – Changes Effective January 1, 2018

On September 15, 2017, the Department of Labor announced an increase in the minimum wage that certain federal contractors must pay to employees.  This comes as part of a planned incremental increase in the federal contractor minimum wage implemented by President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order (the “Order”). As discussed in a previous blog post on … Continue Reading

Department Of Labor Challenges ALJ’s Decision On Google’s Obligation To Respond To OFCCP Data Requests

In July, we reported that an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) had ruled on OFCCP’s dispute with Google over the tech giant’s refusal to turn over certain documents in connection with a routine audit of Google’s headquarters. In his Recommended Decision and Order, the ALJ narrowed the scope of what OFCCP could request from Google without … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Signals Delay in Merger of EEOC and OFCCP

As we previously reported, President Trump, as part of his Fiscal Year 2018 Budget request, proposed a merger of the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to “promote greater efficiency and effectiveness.”  In an August 24, 2017 letter, Acting Director of the OFCCP, Thomas Dowd, signaled a … Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS: New EEO-1 Form Put On Hold; Employers Have Until March 31, 2018 To Submit Prior Version Of EEO-1 Form

The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) has stayed the implementation of the new EEO-1 Form, which added compensation and hours worked components to the annual EEO-1 submission. The OMB’s decision was based in part on concerns about burdens the new form would place on employers and the questionable utility of the new information requirements. … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces “Compliance Assistance” Town Hall Meetings

On August 16, 2017, OFCCP announced that, as part of its efforts to provide compliance assistance to federal contractors, it will be holding three town hall meetings. The meetings will be open to the public and held in Washington D.C., San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL. OFCCP explains that during the meetings, it wants “to … Continue Reading

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
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