On October 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new proposed rule that is more aligned with judicial precedent than a previous proposal regarding whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule would rescind the Independent Contractor Rule (2021 IC Rule) promulgated by the Trump administration on January 5, 2021, which has been criticized by some for making it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors.
This is the DOL’s second attempt to rescind the 2021 IC Rule, after a Texas federal court ruled that the DOL’s first revision failed on procedural grounds. The DOL’s latest proposal may also face legal challenges when it is made final. The proposal is subject to a 45-day comment period beginning October 13, 2022, the date of publication in the Federal Register.
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As covered in a previous alert, on August 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) notified its federal contractor base that it received a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) for all Type 2 Consolidated Employer Information Reports, Standard Form 100 (EEO-1 Report), filed by federal contractors and first tier subcontractors from 2016-2020.
Contractors initially had until September 19, 2022, to file individualized objections to the production of their EEO-1 reports. Importantly, the OFCCP has extended the deadline to file an objection to October 19, 2022, to allow contractors sufficient time to ascertain whether they are covered by the FOIA request and submit objections.
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On August 26, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) launched its Notification of Construction Contract Award Portal (NCAP). The NCAP is a new online platform for contracting officers, applicants, contractors, and subcontractors to submit notice to the OFCCP of a construction contract or subcontract.
The OFCCP’s construction regulations require federal construction contractors to give written notice to the OFCCP within 10 working days of awarding a construction subcontract of more than $10,000 at any tier for construction work performed under a federal or federally assisted construction contract. 41 C.F.R. § 60-4.2(d)(3). Federal contracting officers, applicants for construction contracts, and non-construction contractors (in some circumstances) are also responsible for providing this notice. Id. §§ 60-4.2(b)–(c). The OFCCP uses this information to determine jurisdiction and to schedule construction contractors and subcontractors for compliance evaluations. The OFCCP has developed NCAP so that contractors can submit Form CC-314 information electronically. The OFCCP states that it also plans to use NCAP as the primary source for entering, tracking, and submitting contract award notifications for review by the agency.
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On August 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) alerted its federal contractor base that it received a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) for all Type 2 Consolidated Employer Information Reports, Standard Form 100 (EEO-1 Report), filed by federal contractors and first tier subcontractors from 2016-2020. By issuing this alert, the OFCCP has met its obligation to notify contractors that it will be disclosing information unless contractors file an objection within 30-days.
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On August 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) revised Directive 2022-01 (DIR 2022-01) to clarify its earlier guidance addressing federal government contractors’ regulatory requirement to evaluate compensation as part of their affirmative action programming. Originally referred to as the “pay equity audit,” OFCCP Director Jenny Yang noted in her accompanying DOL blog post that the change in terminology from “pay equity audit” to “compensation analysis” was made to avoid any confusion regarding the nature of contractor obligations.
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On July 28, 2022, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued important clarifications about the certification process through its Federal Contractor Portal (Portal). As previously reported, the Portal is new this year and required federal contractors and subcontractors (contractors) to certify the status of their annual affirmative action plan (AAP) for each establishment before June 30, 2022. In its bulletin update communicated to subscribers by email, the OFCCP stated that — although the portal remains currently open — it has not extended the June 30 deadline and that contractors that have not yet registered and certified their AAP compliance should do so as soon as possible. But it also explained that the agency will consider those contractors that requested assistance from the OFCCP on or before June 30, 2022 — but have not yet completed registration or certification because of a pending request for assistance — to have met the June 30 deadline.
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