Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update
Emilie Adams

Emilie Adams

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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

Trump Administration Proposes Cuts To OFCCP Budget

On February 12, 2018, the Trump Administration released its proposed fiscal year 2019 budget. As it did last year, the budget proposes significant cuts to the funds allocated to OFCCP. The proposed budget allocates to OFCCP just over $91 million, a decrease of nearly $12.7 million (or 12.5%). The budget also seeks to cut OFCCP’s … 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

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

EEOC Announces New EEO-1 Rule

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it had finalized its rule for new EEO-1 pay equity reporting requirements.  The final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register.… Continue Reading

DOL Issues Proposed Rule on Paid Sick Leave for Government Contractors

As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) released a proposed rule on February 25, 2016 to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors and subcontractors to give their workers seven days of paid sick leave annually. The proposed rule comes on the heels of a number of state and local initiatives … Continue Reading

OFCCP Sues B&H for Alleged Discrimination

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) filed an administrative lawsuit against B&H Foto & Electronics Corporation (“B&H”), a major New York-based electronics retailer, alleging systematic discrimination against Hispanic, black, female, and Asian employees. Following a two-year compliance review, OFCCP’s complaint accuses B&H of (1) exclusively hiring Hispanic … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Allows Reverse Racism Claims To Proceed Against Contractor

Earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit allowed a Caucasian construction worker to take his reverse racism claims to trial because there were factual disputes about the reason for his termination. The plaintiff, Terry Deets, alleges that the defendant contractor laid him off because it was not meeting its federally mandated minority-hiring goals. Prior to his … Continue Reading

Divided Sixth Circuit Dismisses Compliance Officer’s FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a former compliance officer’s whistleblower retaliation claim because she did not establish that she had an objectively reasonable belief that she was investigating illegal conduct when her employment was terminated. The plaintiff, Sara Jane Jones-McNamara (“Plaintiff”) alleged that the defendant, Holzer Health Systems, … Continue Reading

House Passes Veteran Preference Bill

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill, titled the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act or “BRAVE Act.” The BRAVE Act authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to give preferences to companies that employ veterans on a full-time basis in awarding contracts for the procurement of goods and services. … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower’s Claims Made By Job Applicant

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a job applicant lacks standing to bring whistle-blower claims under the Energy Reorganization Act and the False Claims Act (“FCA”) because those laws’ retaliation provisions apply only to employees.  The Sixth Circuit is the first Court of Appeals to address this issue. … Continue Reading

DOL Releases Final Rule Raising Minimum Wage For Employees Working On Covered Federal Contracts

On October 1, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its final rule raising the minimum wage for employees working on covered federal government contracts from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.  The final rule implements Executive Order 13658, which was issued by President Obama last February. The final rule applies to a wide range … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Court Allows “Self-Help” Counterclaims Against Potential FCA Whistleblowers To Proceed

Last week, a New Jersey federal court allowed medical device maker Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp. (“Boston Scientific”) to proceed with counterclaims against two of its former employees for violating their contracts with the company by retaining and disclosing company proprietary data after they were terminated.  The former employees have asserted False Claims Act claims against … Continue Reading

OFCCP Issues Directive Addressing Gender Identity and Transgender Bias

Earlier this week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a directive to “clarify that existing agency guidance on discrimination on the basis of sex . . . includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status.”  OFCCP’s pronouncement on the issue comes on the heels of the Secretary of the … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Adopts Less Demanding FCA Pleading Standard

Last week, the Third Circuit reversed a New Jersey district court’s decision to dismiss a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam law suit, holding that the court applied an overly demanding pleading standard to relator Thomas Foglia’s complaint.  The Third Circuit’s decision joins the growing debate that has split the circuits as to whether whistleblowers … Continue Reading

OFCCP to Publicize New Affirmative Action Requirements

Speaking to employers during a June 6 affirmative action conference, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) Director Patricia Shiu announced the agency’s plan to launch a public service announcement (PSA) explaining to employees the disability affirmative action requirements imposed by the new regulations issued by OFCCP under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces Rulemaking Priorities

Last month, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its 2014 Spring Regulatory Agenda, identifying four new rules on which the agency is currently working. The Agenda is consistent with recent efforts by President Obama to further his pay equity agenda.  OFCCP intends to propose by August a rule requiring federal contractors and … Continue Reading

DOL Defends Posting Requirements Against Challenge From Contractors

This week the Department of Labor (DOL) defended its rule requiring federal contractors to post notices informing employees of their right to unionize.  The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Virginia Manufacturers Association have brought a challenge to the rule in federal court based upon statutory and First Amendment grounds. In its opposition to … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Dismisses $50 Million FCA Suit

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a False Claims Act (“FCA”) whistleblower suit seeking $50 million in damages from Huron Consulting Group Inc. (“Huron”) for alleged fraudulent billing practices.  The case is one of many FCA suits around the country related to health care billing … Continue Reading

OFCCP Announces Settlement Regarding Hiring Discrimination

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) recently announced that it reached a settlement with federal contractor Parson Brinckerhoff (“Parsons”) regarding claims of hiring discrimination based on race and ethnicity. During a scheduled compliance review, OFCCP determined that Parsons engaged in hiring discrimination between 2010 and 2012 that affected 247 Hispanic, … Continue Reading
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