Tuesday, 16 September 2014 15:32
By King & Ballow
While one might think that all these changes and new activities would be enough to keep the OFCCP busy for a year or so, President Obama has made additional changes via Executive Orders to implement his regulatory agenda. While it would take more space than allotted here to address each new order in-depth, here is a brief rundown of the new Executive Orders and a Presidential Memorandum that federal contractors and subcontractors must comply with in the near future:
1) Executive Order 13658: Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. It will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers on federal construction and service contracts. It applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government resulting from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015.
2) Executive Order 13665: Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information. It is intended to protect applicants and employees of federal contractors from discrimination because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant. If the Office of Management and Budget approves the proposed regulations, they will likely be published in the Federal Register in September for public comment.
3) Presidential Memorandum — Advancing Pay Equality through Compensation Data Collection. Resulted in Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requiring federal contractors to submit annual summary employee compensation data by gender and race/ethnicity in an annual “Equal Pay Report.” The report will allow both the OFCCP and contractors to better evaluate pay practices. This will be in addition to the EEO-1 report. Federal contractors may submit comments regarding the proposed rule before November 6, 2014.
4) Executive Order 13672: Further Amendments to Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government, and Executive Order 11246, Equal Employment Opportunity (LBGT Discrimination). Amends Executive Order 11246 to include nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as it previously just prevented discrimination on the basis of ‘sex or national origin.’ Sexual orientation and gender identity are not specifically identified in Title VII as protected classes. These Executive Orders also apply to subcontractors and vendors of government contractors. This Executive Order will become effective and apply to contracts entered no earlier than October 19, 2014 (90 days after the Executive Order was signed).
5) Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces. This Order requires contractors pursuing federal contracts worth more than $500,000 to disclose labor law violations from the past three years and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. Another aspect of the order encourages companies to settle existing disputes with employees and prevents companies from requiring arbitration from disputes arising out of Title VII violations or from torts related to sexual assault or harassment in certain circumstances. Further, contractors subject to the Order must provide employees information regarding their hours worked, overtime hours, pay and any additions to or deductions from their pay so that employees can be better informed about their paychecks. This Order will be rolled out on a prioritized basis throughout 2016.
Each of these Executive Orders and the Presidential Memorandum could be discussed in their own lengthy article. This article is intended to give you a preview of what is going on and what to expect in the near future regarding the OFCCP. If you need compliance assistance, please contact our offices. The text of the executive orders can be found here.