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U.S. Department of Labor Updates Regulations on Resolution Procedures for Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would codify OFCCP’s current resolution procedures and add an expedited conciliation option for more efficient resolutions.
“This proposal aims to provide federal contractors with greater certainty and transparency about the procedures that OFCCP follows during compliance evaluations to resolve employment discrimination and other material violations,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director, Craig E. Leen.
The proposed rule codifies two formal notices that the agency has used for decades when it finds potential violations of equal employment opportunity laws: the Predetermination Notice (PDN) and the Notice of Violation (NOV). These notices provide federal contractors with an explanation of the agency’s findings and an opportunity to respond, allowing greater shared understanding of the case and providing opportunities to conciliate. The rule also codifies the recently established expedited resolution procedures in OFCCP’s Directive 2019-02, which allow a federal contractor found in violation of OFCCP’s regulations to bypass OFCCP’s normal resolution procedures and enter directly into a conciliation agreement prior to issuance of a PDN or NOV.
In addition, the proposed rule defines “statistical evidence” and “non-statistical evidence.” These two terms are used in the new regulatory text on resolution procedures. Defining these terms provides transparency and certainty on the meaning of the regulatory text.
Public comments can be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Public Rulemaking Portal by January 29, 2020. The Federal Register notice contains instructions for other forms of submission, such as fax and mail.
OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Collectively, these laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Additionally, contractors must act affirmatively to ensure equal employment opportunity in their employment processes, and they must not discriminate against applicants or employees because they inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.