OFCCP Breaks Record With Over $40M in Settlements in 2019
The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance has been busy this year. In 2019, it has obtained over $40M in settlements from federal contractors to resolve claims of hiring and compensation discrimination. This figure tops the next highest year’s record by more than $16 million.
Increased enforcement efforts and proactive compliance assistance account for the rise, OFCCP Director Craig Leen said in a statement released on Friday, October 25. Over the past two years, OFCCP has issued a series of new directives aimed at encouraging contractors to self-audit, providing transparency in the auditing process and expediting the audit and resolution process.
In particular, OFCCP’s Early Resolution Procedures, discussed here, permit a contractor to enter into an early reconciliation process to resolve issues company-wide and forgo an additional audit at the establishment or functional unit in question for five years. According to the Department of Labor, several large contractors have elected to participate in this program, including Bank of America NA, Goldman Sachs & Co., and Dell Technologies. These contractors alone account for over $21M of the settlements obtained in 2019, discussed here.
It is highly advisable that any contractor with questions regarding its hiring and compensation practices contact outside counsel to review and update its programs before OFCCP comes knocking. Given the additional resources and guidance that OFCCP has recently released, OFCCP is less likely to overlook any deficiencies by contractors who have turned a blind eye to their affirmative action and pay equity obligations.