On Wednesday, December 4th at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing entitled, “Examining Recent Actions by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.” During the hearing, witnesses offered testimony on (1) the effects of the new veteran and disability regulations on workers and employers, and (2) attempts by OFCCP to exert jurisdiction over health care providers. Witnesses included OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu, David Fortney (representing HR Policy Association), Thomas Shanahan (on behalf of the University of North Carolina), Brian Fitzgerald (on behalf of Easter Seals New Jersey), and Curt Kirschner (representing the American Hospital Association). A webcast and statements from each of the witnesses are available here.
The timing of this hearing is no coincidence — just the day before, Representative Tim Wahlberg introduced new proposed legislation entitled “Protecting Health Care Providers from Increased Administrative Burdens Act (HR 3633)” designed to protect health care providers from OFCCP jurisdiction “through executive fiat” as described in the associated Press Release. In the press release, Wahlberg expresses concern that the increased costs incurred by health care providers in complying with EEO laws will be passed along to the American public through increased health care costs.
This is the second recent Congressional hearing on OFCCP’s aggressive enforcement/regulatory activity (the last one was in April 2012).