On March 31, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) rescinded a Trump Administration rule that provided a faith-based carve-out exempting federal contractors from compliance with certain anti-discrimination obligations. Federal law has long recognized a religious exemption to anti-discrimination obligations for federal contractors. The Trump Administration rule, which went into effect on January 8, 2021, expanded this faith-based carve-out. The rescission of the 2021 rule, which was published in the Federal Register on March 1, returns OFCCP to its pre-2021 religious exemption rule.
The federal government became the most recent employer to adopt a “Ban the Box” policy when The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act became effective December 20, 2021. The law prohibits federal contractors and most federal agencies from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history—including arrests and convictions—prior to making a conditional job offer. Therefore, federal contractors should review their applications and hiring practices to ensure they are complying with the recently-enacted law.
Continue Reading Ban the Box: Federal Government Adopts Fair Hiring Practice
On September 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued regulations (the “final rule”) implementing Executive Order 13706, which requires federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. According to the DOL, federal contractors employ 1.15 million individuals—594,000 of whom do not receive paid sick leave. Thus, for contractors who do not currently provide paid sick leave to their employees, the final rule imposes significant administrative and financial burdens. However, given the nuanced requirements of the final rule, even contractors who currently provide some form of paid sick leave to employees may find the final rule burdensome to comply with. Contractors should act now to either develop paid sick leave policies or determine what changes need to be made to their current paid leave policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the final rule once it becomes effective.
Continue Reading Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Implementing Executive Order Requiring Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Federal Contractors
[UPDATE] On March 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law a Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) resolution repealing the so-called “blacklisting” rule, which would have imposed strict labor reporting and other requirements upon government contractors. This was followed by an Executive Order (“EO”) signed by President Trump the same day, effectively nullifying President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces EO that first called for the blacklisting rule. For additional details regarding the repeal, please see the April 26, 2017 blog article.
On August 25, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) and Federal Acquisition Regulatory (“FAR”) Council published “Guidance for Executive Order 13673, ‘Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’” (“final rule”). Also referred to as the “blacklisting” rule, it imposes strict disclosure guidelines and requires that both prospective and existing contractors – as well as subcontractors – disclose violations of federal labor laws that resulted in administrative merits determinations, civil judgments, or arbitral awards or decisions. The final rule also requires that contractors and subcontractors disclose specific information to workers each pay period regarding their wages and prohibits contractors from requiring that their workers sign arbitration agreements that encompass Title VII violations and claims of sexual assault or harassment.…