As of February 28, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced it will rescind two guidelines restricting its ability to investigate pay discrimination, specifically its  “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines,” initially implemented in 2006. [i]

According to the Office, this action was taken as a direct measure to improve its ability to conduct full investigations into, and remedy, different forms of pay discrimination; ultimately providing the OFCCP with more leeway to investigate government contractor pay discrimination and further its ability to enforce employer pay practices which protect workers from federal laws against illegal employment discrimination.

Furthermore, the OFCCP will sign a new directive, OFCCP Policy Directive 307, which will replace all earlier directives pertaining to the investigation of government contractor pay practices.

For contractor employers, the OFCCP published details of its new guidance which will:

  • Rescind two enforcement guidance documents on pay discrimination from 2006 known as the “Compensation Standards” and “Voluntary Guidelines” because they limited OFCCP’s ability to conduct full investigations and use every enforcement tool at its disposal to combat pay discrimination.[ii]
  • Align OFCCP’s analysis of pay discrimination with the principles used to enforce the main federal law against employment discrimination — Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — just like in all other areas where OFCCP reviews contractor compliance under Executive Order 11246 (such as hiring, promotion or termination), and just as other federal agencies do. [ii]
  • Improve and clarify OFCCP’s compensation investigation program, by providing the procedures, analysis, and protocols OFCCP will utilize when conducting compensation discrimination investigations going forward. [ii]

According to Patricia A. Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, the Office will be hosting a series of public Webinars to provide technical assistance and answer questions. For those looking for additional information, you can visit the OFCCP here www.dol/gov/ofccp/CompGuidance/.

For assistance with OFCCP compliance issues, be sure to visit America’s Job Exchange here. As a leader in diversity recruiting and OFCCP job distribution services, we have valuable resources available to government contract employers.

[i] United States Department of Labor OFCCP News Release

[ii] Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs, More Effective and Transparent Procedures for Investigating Pay Discrimination

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