A new year means new policy changes from the employment law enforcement agencies, but the guessing game of what changes to expect and when can layer on the stress to an already confusing regulatory environment. Having an idea of what these changes may be can go a long way in ensuring you aren’t caught off-guard. See what DirectEmployers’ employment law experts John Fox and Candee Chambers expect in the coming year in this sneak peek of our latest DE Talk episode!

Candee Chambers:

So, what do you think is going to happen with the OFCCP? They’re not doing many audits, although they put out a compensation directive that, I have to admit, doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. They cite 41 CFR 60-2.17(b)(3) but they say that they are allowed to or that contractors are required to do extensive evaluations of compensation. Well, I’m not reading that. And then they say that you have to provide the documentation based on 2.10 and that’s basically a record-keeping issue and it’s the very last sentence in 2.10 and it blows my mind.

And I consider myself somewhat intelligent and they started asking for different types of compensation analyses that I can guarantee you the average contractor isn’t doing. Comp ratio, I’m familiar with that, cohort analysis, obviously, regression analyses but some of the stuff they were talking about is Greek to a lot of people, I guarantee it.

John C. Fox:

So, let me start at 30,000 feet here. Because you notice that the EEOC publishes every five years its strategic business plan, it publishes annually its strategic enforcement plan, a separate document. The OFCCP does not publish its strategic plan. Senior officers at OFCCP know what they’re doing, they have a plan that they amend from time to time in their minds and their discussions but it has changed dramatically and it’s driven by two forces, there’s two drivers.

The first is budget considerations that form increasingly, in the last 10 years, the strategic plan for OFCCP. They have not been treated well by the Congress, Democrats and Republicans, they have stair-stepped down since the first year of the Obama administration through a 100% Democrat Congress, House, Senate, White House and they stepped down further in the Trump administration, they stepped down in the Biden administration. They are now stable with this year’s big, big, big budget that landed but that means that they just don’t have to fire anybody, they don’t have to lose any heads. They’re going to be stable at about four, two, zero, 420 employees are authorized. They are routinely higher than that because they have about a 25% turnover, unfortunately, of their new hires these days. So, you got to hire a lot more just to stay even, you need to be around 450-

Candee Chambers:

Right, exactly, yeah.

John C. Fox:

… just to hold 420. By the end of the year, you’ve lost a hundred people. But the second thing that drives is their policy considerations. And what you’ve seen, because of the budget constriction and their difficulty driving forward, the OFCCP just day-in and day-out operationally, audits have dropped to record lows for the third year in a row. Collections are falling from back pay dramatically from prior years.

You’re seeing offices shrink, you’re going to see offices disappear this year. They are slowly, quietly, this is part of a strategic plan that’s not announced or publicized, they are shrinking this agency down from the 72 offices that used to be there when I was helping to run OFCCP to what is now fewer than 40, four, zero, depending on how you account offices…

Tune in to the full episode to uncover so much more as our hosts discuss additional changes to come in 2023. Want more OFCCP compliance knowledge from John & Candee? Subscribe to our OFCCP Compliance/WIR email lists to receive our award-winning Week in Review and updates on relevant webinars and events!

Kacie Koons
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