The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)—the U.S. Department of Labor division responsible for ensuring federal contractors' compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity laws—recently announced that it would discontinue its Active Case Management program, signaling broader, more aggressive investigation of discrimination claims by the agency.   

The ACM procedures, in place since September 2008, allowed for an expedited desk audit review process that worked to quickly close cases where there was no indication of systemic discrimination in the records of the contractor being investigated. If the desk audit did not suggest discrimination, OFCCP closed the investigation. The stated purpose of the ACM procedures was to focus the agency's resources on identifying and addressing systemic discrimination in a manner that increased efficiency.

 In ending ACM, OFCCP decried its value, stating "[w]hile ACM has identified a number of systemic cases [of discrimination] since its implementation, it has also caused OFCCP to narrow the focus of its enforcement efforts and has eroded OFCCP’s enforcement authority." It stated that the procedures were being rescinded in accordance with recommendations from the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force—a coalition of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Office of Personnel Management—brought together by President Barack Obama to find ways of better enforcing federal equal pay laws. The change also allows OFCCP greater discretion in evaluating and pursuing investigations of alleged discrimination by federal contractors.

 Ballard Spahr will continue to monitor any developments as to the OFCCP's investigatory and enforcement programs and processes. For guidance when facing desk audits or OFCCP investigations, or when seeking compliance with OFCCP regulations, do not hesitate to contact David S. Fryman at 215.864.8105, or fryman@ballardspahr.com or any member of Ballard Spahr's Labor and Employment Group.

 


 

 

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