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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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

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
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