OFCCP Week in Review: March 20, 2017

John C. Fox and Candee Chambers

OFCCP Week in Review: March 20, 2017

John C. Fox and Candee ChambersThe OFCCP Week in Review (WIR) is a simple, fast and direct summary of relevant happenings in the OFCCP regulatory environment, authored by experts John C. Fox and Candee Chambers. In today’s edition we discuss:

  • Trump issued Executive Order 13781 which called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the Executive Branch of the government
  • Trump proposed 21% reduction to USDOL budget
  • Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Senate Judiciary Committee two-day nomination hearing began today

Monday, March 13, 2017: Trump Issues Executive Order

13781 Calling for a Comprehensive Plan to Reorganize the Executive Branch of the Government

This is potentially ominous for OFCCP’s future, but is on a one-year slow fuse. The Order, published at 82 Federal Register 13781 calls for three major actions to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch:”

  • Agencies Invited to Suggest Reorganization: “Within 180 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall submit to the Director a proposed plan to reorganize the agency, if appropriate, in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of that agency.”
  • The Public May Suggest Reorganization: “The Director shall publish a notice in the Federal Register inviting the public to suggest improvements in the organization and functioning of the executive branch and shall consider the suggestions when formulating the proposed plan described in subsection (c) of this section.”
  • OMB to Suggest Reorganization Within Next Year: “Within 180 days after the closing date for the submission of suggestions * * * *, the Director shall submit to the President a proposed plan to reorganize the executive branch in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies. The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions.”

NOTE: President Trump’s proposed budget, discussed below, thus far proposes the elimination of 19 standalone agencies, but did not attempt to propose the elimination of sub-agencies within the departments of the Executive Branch. Rather, that task is now left to the department Secretaries and Administrators.

Thursday, March 16, 2017: Trump Proposes 21% Reduction to USDOL Budget

The White House called it a “skinny budget” because it did not include budget proposals for the sub-agencies within the Department. In addition, the budget proposal did not explain whether the cuts would be equally applied to all agencies or whether some agencies within the USDOL would suffer deeper cuts so that other agencies within USDOL could suffer a lesser reduction. While The White House issued detailed budgets for many other federal agencies, it issued the “skinny budget” for USDOL apparently because Secretary of Labor Nominee Alexander Acosta had not had an opportunity to review the proposal and put his imprimatur of approval on it.

  • While the proposed 21% budget cut has little likelihood of gaining Congressional approval, it does signal the White House’s strong intention to aggressively reduce budgets, rather than to continue to increase them. This does not bode well for OFCCP given the Senate’s proposal to reduce OFCCP’s budget this year by $1M and the House of Representative’s proposal to cut $5M (almost a 5% cut).
  • The way you have to think about OFCCP’s budget is that every $1M of budget buys approximately 10 OFCCP Compliance Officers.
  • The BNA Daily Labor Report published a detailed report of the proposed budget reduction and quoted John Fox extensively.
  • While USDOL Secretary Alexander Acosta reported neither The White House nor the Office of Management & Budget (which actually prepares the budget for the Executive Branch of the federal government) consulted him about the budget proposal, you can bet your last dollar it will be THE major feature of Mr. Acosta’s March 22 confirmation hearing. Expect fireworks.
  • The White House has not yet released a proposed budget for the EEOC.

REMINDER: Today (MARCH 20, 2017) at 11:00 a.m., The Senate Judiciary Committee began a two-day nomination hearing of Judge Neil Gorsuch to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


THIS COLUMN IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW AND PRACTICE RELATING TO OFCCP. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK ADVICE OF COUNSEL.

Reminder: If you have specific OFCCP compliance questions and/or concerns or wish to offer suggestions about future topics for the OFCCP Week In Review, please contact your membership representative at (866) 268-6206 (for DirectEmployers Association Members), or email Candee at candee@directemployers.org with your ideas.

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About the Author

John C. FoxJohn C. Fox, Esq. is President and Senior Partner at Fox, Wang & Morgan P.C. where he represents companies and tries cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Mr. Fox has extensive trial experience, having spent more than 300 days in trial. Mr. Fox was also lead trial counsel in the first of the four wage-hour class actions known to have been tried in California and was lead trial counsel in what are believed to have been the two largest disability law suits in the United States. He is an across-the-board employment lawyer representing management nationwide.View all posts by John C. Fox »

(1) Comment

  1. OFCCP Week in Review: April 3, 2017 | DirectEmployers AssociationApr 03, 2017

    […] as you know, but did not identify budgets for the sub-agencies which make-up the USDOL (See DE WIR March 20, 2017) Rather, the White House’s view is that it wishes to leave those decisions to its Secretary of […]