As July was coming to an end, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that Ondray Harris would leave his role as OFCCP Director, effective July 27. Thereafter, Deputy Director, Craig Leen, was appointed the Acting Director of OFCCP. The news came a week before federal contractors and OFCCP representatives gathered in Anaheim, California at the 2018 Industry Liaison Group National Conference. Acting Director Leen took center stage and was the lead spokesperson for the agency at the National ILG Conference.
Acting Director Leen opened the Conference by outlining the agency’s four areas of focus: Transparency, Certainty, Efficiency, and Recognition. He provided some detail with respect to these general areas. Leen also discussed his commitment to affirmative action generally. However, as a strong advocate for individuals with disabilities, he announced that in 2019, the agency will begin conducting focused reviews of contractors’ compliance with Section 503’s affirmative action requirements. Leen also discussed the contractor’s “Bill of Rights,” which OFCCP issued on August 1. The Bill of Rights constitutes a significant change in the agency’s stance toward contractors, giving substance to prior promises of greater transparency and consistency and signals an end to the OFCCP’s adversarial approach to compliance evaluations. Additionally, Leen confirmed that pay equity remains a focus of the agency, announced that OFCCP is in the process of implementing an annual AAP certification, and is considering re-instituting a contractor award program. Finally, Leen committed to moving compliance reviews more quickly.
Stay tuned for more FortneyScott updates, specifically with regard to official confirmation of a new OFCCP Director, and any further updates on the direction the agency will take moving forward.