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OFCCP to Focus on Construction Contractor Rules and Sex-Bias Guidelines in 2014

By SHRM Online staff  12/5/2013
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The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its semiannual regulatory agenda Nov. 26, 2013.

In addition to enforcing its new final rule on the affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations of contractors and subcontractors regarding individuals with disabilities (issued Aug. 24, 2013, and scheduled to go into effect March 24, 2014), the agency said its priorities for 2014 are as follows:

Construction Contractor Affirmative Action Requirements

By April 2014 the OFCCP intends to issue another affirmative action rule, this one for construction contractors. According to the agency, existing affirmative action goals and timetables for this industry are outdated. Specifically, existing minority goals for construction were issued in 1980, based on 1970 census data; goals for the utilization of women in construction occupations were issued in 1978, also based on the 1970 census. An updated rule would “remove these outdated goals and provide contractors increased flexibility to assess their workforce and determine whether disparities in the utilization of women or the utilization of a particular racial or ethnic group in an on-site construction job group exist,” the OFCCP explained, and “strengthen affirmative action programs particularly in the areas of recruitment, training, and apprenticeships.”

Sex-Discrimination Guidelines

By May 2014 the OFCCP plans to issue proposed rules that would revise sex-discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. According to the agency, because the guidelines have not been updated in more than 30 years, they warrant a “regulatory lookback.” The proposed rule would “create sex discrimination regulations that reflect the current state of the law in this area.”

Compensation Data-Collection Tool

While not included as a priority item, a new compensation data-collection tool is scheduled to be developed by the agency; it would identify contractors likely to engage in sex- and race-based compensation discrimination. This tool is slated to be issued in January 2014. The OFCCP claims that this data-collection tool “could play a key role in OFCCP’s establishment-specific, contractor-wide and industry-wide analyses.” 

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