Monday, May 1, 2017

Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta

Meet Secretary Acosta

The Department of Labor welcomes Alexander Acosta, who was sworn in as the twenty-seventh U.S. Labor Secretary on April 28, 2017.

Secretary Acosta is the son of Cuban refugees, a native of Miami, and first-generation college graduate. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.

Following law school, he worked as a law clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He then worked at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and went on to teach at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law.

Secretary Acosta has served in three presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed positions. In 2002, he was appointed to serve as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. In 2003, he was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and from 2005 to 2009 he served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Most recently, Secretary Acosta served as the dean of the FIU College of Law.

Secretary Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine. He was also named to the list of 100 most influential individuals in business ethics in 2008. In 2013, the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Chairman’s Higher Education Award in recognition of his “outstanding achievements, leadership and determination throughout a lifetime of caring and giving back to the community.”

Secretary Acosta and his wife enjoy spending time together as a family, raising their two daughters.

Source: Department of Labor Website

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

OFCCP Issues Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters

Earlier this month, the OFCCP began issuing CSAL letters directly to contractor establishments. They are providing this courtesy letter alerting contractors of upcoming OFCCP audit Scheduling Letters (which actually begin an audit) that they "may" be selected for an audit. In our experience, at least 90% of the time, organizations that receive this "heads up" letter will typically be scheduled for an audit within the following few weeks to up to six months or more.

With this round of CSALs, the OFCCP has further reduced the number of audits it seeks to annually undertake to perhaps only 1300 per year, down from the usual 4,300+. The OFCCP has undertaken approximately 500 already started in the first 5 months of this Fiscal Year 2017 and 800 anticipated in the last 7 months of this Fiscal Year.

To spread work more evenly across different OFCCP District Offices, OFCCP had recently begun to have its District Offices audit not only beyond their normal geographical District boundaries, but also across Regional Office lines (i.e. the Portland OFCCP Office may audit in Florida or the Jackson, Mississippi OFCCP District Office may audit in the Mid-west). This round of CSALs continues and expands that "out-of-District" audit approach.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Congress Moves to Rescind ‘Blacklisting’ Regulations for Federal Contractors

The U.S. House of Representatives passed on a bipartisan basis H.J. Res. 37, a resolution to block the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, by a vote of 236-187.

The order is often referred to as the "blacklisting" regulations because of concerns that the government will use these regulations to prohibit employers from doing business with the U.S. government due to actual or alleged labor law violations. The main provisions of the regulation requires certain federal contractors to report violations of 14 different federal labor and employment laws, and the equivalent state laws, in order to compete for federal contracts.

H.J. Res. 37 would nullify the rule Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, 81 Fed. Reg. 58562 (August 25, 2016). The bill disapproves a rule that would require federal contractors to disclose findings of non-compliance with labor laws. The rule would bog down Federal procurement with unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for Federal government contracts. Rolling back this rule will also help to reduce costs in Federal procurement. The Administration is committed to reducing onerous regulatory burdens on America's businesses and using existing authorities to continue enforcing the Nation's workplace laws.

The Senate is expected to consider a resolution similar to H.J. Res. 37 soon. Senate passage is expected because this is considered a "privileged resolution," which requires only a simple majority (51 votes) for passage. President Donald J. Trump is expected to sign this resolution into law.