WSJ Reports OFCCP?s Methods to Identify Pay Discrimination Are Minimally Successful

This
afternoon, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) released a major investigative
report which found that the OFCCP’s aggressive tactics and demands for
expansive data collection were only minimally successful in identifying pay
discrimination.  The WSJ report is significant because its findings suggest a
fundamental disconnect between the OFCCP strategy for tackling pay
discrimination and its overall results.

Although
Congress increased OFCCP’s budget by almost $20 million over the past five
years, over that same period OFCCP has collected less settlement money than it
collected in 2004 alone.  These meager numbers suggest “the agency has wasted
resources tackling a problem that hardly exists.”  Further, Congress has
responded to the Agency’s performance by slashing OFCCP’s budget by $1.1
million and by refusing to provide for additional employees to serve as
pay-analysis experts.

OFCCP’s
Director Pat Shiu told WSJ that the
low numbers were a direct result of her efforts to focus the agency on complex
cases, such as systemic pay discrimination involving multiple workers rather
than straightforward issues such as hiring. 
New reporting rules issued under Director Shiu require contractors to
submit a spreadsheet of all employees’ compensation.  WSJ reports that OFCCP critics and supporters
agree that the agency lacks the statistical expertise to analyze contractor
data so that audits that previously took six months now take two to three years. 
Further, the numerous requests for data suggest the agency takes on “each audit
assuming there is discrimination exists, if only they could find it.”

We
will continue to follow this story but if you have questions, please contact
your FortneyScott attorney.