In his first two speeches after taking over as Acting Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Craig Leen emphasized a commitment to the rule of law, promised to provide contractors with clear guidance and transparent enforcement processes, offered incentives for voluntary compliance, and outlined plans to identify and audit government contractors that are ignoring their obligations.
His speeches came at the beginning and end of a four-day Industry Liaison Group National Conference held in Anaheim, California that was attended by HR compliance professionals and officials from the Department of Labor (DOL), OFCCP, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Although the conference included presentations from industry experts, the highlight for many was the opportunity to hear directly from the OFCCP, including its new acting director.
Mr. Leen opened the conference with a keynote address focusing on his goals for the OFCCP, including transparency, certainty, efficiency, and recognition. Mr. Leen highlighted OFCCP’s recent Directive 2018-01, which requires a Predetermination Notice (PDN) in all cases with preliminary individual and systemic discrimination findings. According to Mr. Leen, contractors can expect meaningful, good-faith conciliation.
Additionally, he noted that the OFCCP will no longer engage in fishing expeditions with information requests during a compliance evaluation. Instead, OFCCP compliance officers must have specific reasons for a request and be able to explain the need for the information upon request.
Importantly, in the information request context, Mr. Leen explicitly acknowledged that contractors will be given reasonable time to respond and that the age of “false deadlines” to show authority was over.
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