The Department of Labor and OFCCP recently released its 2014 Spring Regulatory Agenda and there really are no surprises. The Agenda reflects some of the Agency’s same agenda items as in years past along with items prioritized by President Obama’s recent executive actions.
- OFCCP has once again pushed back the timeline for new construction contractor regulations to January 2015;
- Likewise, it pushed the Sex Discrimination Guidelines to September 2014.
What’s new? As previously discussed here and here, the President’s drive towards pay equity will be keeping OFCCP very busy this summer:
- Compensation Data Collection: topping the list are proposed regulations requiring federal contractors to submit summary pay data to OFCCP which would allow it to target for audit those contractors whose pay data suggest pay equity issues. There will be no vacation for OFCCP in June or July as the proposed regulations are due in early-August 2014;
- Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information: the President’s Executive Order 13665 amended Executive Order 11246 to prohibit retaliation against applicants and employees who discuss or disclose compensation information. The amendment pursues the belief that, unless employees are able to freely discuss compensation, they will be unable to discover and address unfair pay disparities. Regulations implementing the amendment are due by the end of September 2014.
What’s the priority here for federal contractors? Compensation data collection is likely to fundamentally change the compliance landscape for federal contractors. The current administration has been tasked to locate and address systemic pay disparities, as well as policies and procedures which cause those disparities (e.g. the “steering” issue). Accordingly, before being required to turn over their data, contractors will need to understand what OFFCP may see (before the Agency gets it) by conducting privileged, proactive pay analyses and appropriately addressing issues before any data submission.
What do you have to say about compensation data collection? We urge you to voice your opinions and insights during the comment period following the proposed regulations. Check back periodically as this will be the “hot” summer topic (at least for federal contractors).