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    UPDATE:  The Presidential Memorandum and the Executive Order have been published in the Federal Register.  The Executive Order has now been given number 13665. 

    President Obama issued new requirements—an Executive Order (EO) plus a Memorandum to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)—aimed at closing the wage gap for women and minorities as part of the White House’s initiatives in support of Equal Pay Day on April 8, 2014.  The requirements apply to all new federal contracts under Executive Order 11246—about the broadest range possible.  The Memorandum focuses on compensation data.  The EO deals with retaliation for disclosing or inquiring about wages.  However, the new requirements largely put “old wine in new bottles” and are best understood as part of the Administration’s orchestrated effort to influence the political debate on women and minority pay compensation issues and to carry out the President’s pledge to wield his executive power with a pen.

    Nationally acclaimed employment attorney Leslie E. Silverman, Esquire has joined Fortney & Scott, LLC as a shareholder.  Ms. Silverman, who formerly served as the Vice Chair and Member of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Labor Counsel to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, brings her wide-ranging experience and expertise in counseling and advising on compliance with workplace laws to FortneyScott's full service labor and employment practice.

    Ms. Silverman counsels and advises clients on complying with workplace laws, dealing with the EEOC, other government agencies and Congress, and on a wide range of workplace issues, including employment screening and diversity and recruitment and retention programs.

    Ms. Silverman also conducts workplace investigations and represents clients before the EEOC and other government agencies.

    On March 20, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a Final Rule that requires any entity that enters into a contract with Treasury make “good faith efforts” to include minorities and women in its workforce.  The regulation will take effect on April 21, 2014 and will apply to contracts or modifications entered into on or after that date.  

Senator Menendez Requests that the Fortune 500 Companies Complete a Diversity Survey

By David Fortney, Esq.

See the letter from Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, requesting that the Fortune 500 companies complete a Diversity Survey Instrument by May 1st.

 

The survey requests information about minority representation on each company’s board and senior management and in the company’s procurement of goods and services.  The Senator states that he is “conducting the survey to gain a better understanding of Hispanic participation in our corporate executive teams, board rooms and procurement practices.”  Senator Menendez further explains that he “intend[s] to have a public presentation of the data compiled from companies that participate, as well as shed light on those that do not.”

 Please contact the FortneyScott attorney with whom you work to discuss how you may want to respond, particularly because the survey requests information that otherwise typically would not be in the public domain and need not be disclosed to the government under existing reporting procedures.

This update is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel or advice.  Employers should retain experienced legal counsel to obtain advice about the effects of these developments on their particular circumstances.

For more information, please contact David Fortney, Esq. at dfortney@fortneyscott.com.