Hello from the opening day of the NILG 2022 National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts and it seems like the crowds have returned following last year’s hybrid conference in Nashville, TN.

With the theme of “Be the Beacon of Change” the first full day of this year’s conference kicked off with a full slate of great sessions.

OFCCP Director Jenny Yang started the day with the morning’s keynote address – and while she has attended the conference in the past in her role with the EEOC, and addressed the conference last year via video, this was her first time attending the NILG in person in her current OFCCP Director role.  Addressing attendees from the Boston-themed stage, Director Yang shared her vision for the Agency’s continued work to assist employees of federal contractors and continually emphasized her desire to get feedback and input from the contractor community along the way as OFCCP works to increase its “strategic impact.”

Director Yang spoke intently about the Agency’s work, noting

equality of opportunity is not a zero sum game.

Detailing OFCCP’s focus of the change occurring in the working world, Director Yang shared the Agency will have 100 new hires by the end of September and will be working to train the new compliance officers as well as strengthen the field’s data analytics skills.

Talking specifically about some of the Agency’s initiatives, she noted OFCCP is revisiting scheduling methodology and admitted its been “a difficult nut to crack.”  The Agency has been focusing on a more risk-based approach to scheduling with emphasis on industries/contractors who have received or will be receiving infrastructure moneys.  Director Yang detailed how the Agency will be focusing on construction contractors as part of this, including reviving the Mega Projects program as well as looking into analyzing job across multiple works sites within a MSA.

Director Yang discussed OFCCP’s enforcement agenda, including discussion of the recent March 2022 Directives on Compensation and Enforcement .  She specifically took a moment to confirm and clarify OFCCP’s position regarding privileged pay analyses – OFCCP does not intend to seek a contractor’s privileged analysis.  Instead, the Agency is looking only for evidence of compliance with contractor’s regulatory obligation to evaluate its compensation systems, which she noted

is one of the most important steps in addressing pay discrimination

With respect to the enforcement directive, Director Yang explained the rationale behind the Agency’s rescission of the automatic audit submission extension, explaining with the advent of the Contractor Portal contractors “don’t have much need for extensions.”

With respect to the Portal, Director Yang announced OFCCP has shared the Agency’s list of those that have not certified compliance with contracting agencies so they are aware of those that are not in compliance.

Director Yang announced the Agency intends to hold a listening session, (much like it did with respect to pay, establishment based reporting and non-binary gender data collection) on “tech-based hiring.”

In her closing remarks Director Yang asked for “grace of understanding” as OFCCP seeks to continue to collaborate and encourages those to be candid about their challenges.

Following her keynote, Director Yang joined EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows and Wendy Chun-Hoon, Director, Women’s Bureau, for a panel discussion regarding building a culture of equity for women and people of color in the workplace.

We were thrilled to have Director Yang kick off this year’s conference and look forward the next few days together.