Regulations

The First OFCCP Complaint of 2017 Provides Little Insight

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Businesses continue to watch for signs of changes in how regulators under the Trump administration will enforce compliance. According to testimony before Congress in October by Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross, as reported by The Washington Times, the administration had removed 860 rules and regulations since taking office. More changes are expected.

It was recently revealed that the U.S. Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) received a record $23 million in the past fiscal year to settle workplace discrimination charges.

It took eight months from when President Trump was inaugurated for the OFFCP to file its first complaint against a federal contractor under the Trump administration. The complaint was filed against Advance 2000, an IT services firm based in Williamsville, N.Y., for failure to comply with a conciliation agreement reached in June 2015. OFCCP said that Advance 2000 failed to submit required progress reports and to respond to OFCCP’s notice of violation. The complaint prevents the company from entering into future government contracts. Advance 2000 had roughly $158,000 in federal contracts that expired in February 2016.

Brian Maouad, chief executive officer of Advance 2000, said in Bloomberg Law that the company will fix the progress report issue with OFFCP. Even if free to do so, it doesn’t plan to pursue future federal contracts, in part because of the cost of managing the OFFCP’s requirements.

As a sign of how the OFFCP may carry out audits and enforcement to ensure workplace affirmative action and nondiscrimination compliance under the Trump administration, this complaint against Advance 2000 was underwhelming. It provides no insight as to how the OFCCP will handle future compliance issues as this was a standard response to violation of a settlement agreement. It does, however, highlight the challenges of maintaining the appropriate documentation and processes to ensure compliance with DOL regulations.

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