An alternative dispute resolution will be prioritized where possible to increase the amount of open audits
OFCCP is going to be “increasing the amount of audits open … and continue to look for ways to resolve cases promptly so that we get a remedy to those affected quickly,” according to Director Craig Leen. Further, he said “we are going to prioritize alternative dispute resolution where possible; although we will also be ready to go to litigation if necessary, so that gives you [insight into] our program that you will see the agency doing over the rest of FY 2020, and into FY 2021 .” The agency plans on conducting construction reviews beginning at the end of FY 2020 or 2021. They will publish a list of those contractors to be reviewed. According to Leen, “you are going to see this as one of the most successful years in OFCCP history. I don't know if it will be as successful as FY 2019 in terms of raw numbers, but I think it will be relatively close.”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is prepared to give additional extensions if the contractor shows that it is needed. Since employees are working remotely, OFCCP is focusing on the use of the telephone and video conferencing to engage with the contractor virtually instead of going on-site. He stresses that “everything we have been able to do as an agency we continued to do during COVID.”
Leen suggests making sure that any layoffs, furloughs, pay reductions, etc. related to the pandemic are being fairly distributed across the company and not impacting negatively on protected group members.
Other OFCCP areas of focus include:
- Outreach to Native Americans. The agency wants to make sure that “American Indians and native American's generally are able to fully participate in equal employment opportunity that America offers.”
- Continuing to process LGBTQ complaints.
Leen wants government contractors to conduct a self-audit; however, they will not replace the agency’s audits. He suggests conducting annual self-audits to review your hiring, compensation, and employment practices. The goal is to discover the problems, and fix it before OFCCP finds it.