November Is (You Guessed It, Also) National OFCCP Directive Month
On November 29, the agency issued 3 new Directives, the first, DIR 2019-01, rescinds the previous administration’s deep dive audit protocols (while pointing out that some of that methodology has been incorporated into agency procedures), and provides a limiting instruction for onsite audits, which is that their scope be solely those issues that triggered the onsite review. DIR 2019-02 is one of their boldest actions yet. The Directive establishes an early resolution protocol which not only sets a tone of co-operation between the agency and contractors, but also goes further to then require a contractor with violations to perform a self-directed audit of some or all of its other establishments and file periodic reports with the agency detailing its analyses and corrective actions for some period of time thereafter. For material violations that involve discrimination (rather than technical violations) the agency will negotiate remedies with the contractor in an expedited fashion, and importantly, limit the pool of affected applicants to those with the “minimum/preferred” qualifications (rather than “basic”). DIR 2019-03 announces the agency’s intent to catalogue and publish help desk questions and answers on the agency’s website as well as beginning the practice of issuing opinion letters to contractors and employees, similar to the wage and hour division’s long standing (intermittent) practice. DIR 2019-02 is the clearest example yet of the OFCCP’s motto of “doing more with less.” The expedited review / conciliation process along with leveraging the contractor’s staff to continue corrective action and report on it, are both designed to get as many transactions / data points through the agency as possible and equally important, both are indicative of an agency that believes contractors for the most part are trying to do the right thing and even when falling short, with guidance from the agency, can respond appropriately. For more see Pillar’s Blog Post OFCCP 2018 Activity, Part II.