Government contractors should brace for more employee scrutiny, employee organizing and other employee and government pressure on compensation practices if the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs proceeds with plans to adopt a Proposed Rule on compensation transparency that would prohibit federal contractors from maintaining pay secrecy policies announced by the Obama Administration yesterday (September 15, 2014). Under the terms of the Proposed Rule, federal contractors and subcontractors may not fire or otherwise discriminate against any employee or applicant for discussing, disclosing or inquiring about their compensation or that of another employee or applicant and also will face other new obligations. Government contractors concerned about the potential burdens of compliance with the Proposed Rule should act promptly to review and submit comments on the Proposed Rule within 90 days of its official publication in the Federal Register tomorrow (September 17, 2014).
The Proposed Rule scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on September 17, 2014 would:
- Amend the equal opportunity clauses in Executive Order 11246 to afford protections to workers who talk about pay to include the nondiscrimination provision in Executive Order 13665.
- Add definitions for compensation, compensation information, and essential job functions, terms which appear in the revised clauses.
- Provide that contractors could use against allegations of discrimination under Executive Order 13665 one of the following two defenses as long as that defense is not based on a rule, policy, practice, agreement or other instrument that prohibits employees or applicants from discussing or disclosing their compensation or that of other employees consistent with the provisions in the equal opportunity:
- That the action was based on a legitimate workplace rule that does not violate the transparency rule; or
- That the adverse action was against an employee, who the employer entrusted with confidential compensation information of other employees or applicants as part of his or her essential job functions, for disclosing the compensation of other employees or applicants, unless the disclosure occurs in certain limited circumstances; and
- the Proposed Rule’s compensation transparency requirement; or
- Add a requirement that Federal contractors to tell employees and job applicants of the nondiscrimination protection created by Executive Order 13665 using specific language dictated by the OFCCP in handbooks and manuals, and through electronic or physical postings.
- In addition, OFCCP also is considering requiring government contractors that provide manager training or meetings to include nondiscrimination based on pay in their existing manager training programs or meetings while encouraging other contractors to adopt this as a best practice for minimizing the likelihood of workplace discrimination.
For Help With Investigations, Policy Updates Or Other Needs
If you need help in conducting a risk assessment of or responding to an IRS, DOL, Justice Department, or other federal or state agencies or other private plaintiff or other legal challenges to your organization’s existing workforce classification or other labor and employment, compliance, employee benefit or compensation practices, please contact the author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer here or at (469) 767-8872 .
Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, management attorney and consultant Ms. Stamer is nationally and internationally recognized for more than 23 years of work helping employers; employee benefit plans and their sponsors, administrators, fiduciaries; employee leasing, recruiting, staffing and other professional employment organizations; and others design, administer and defend innovative workforce, compensation, employee benefit and management policies and practices. The Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Committee, a Council Representative on the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, Government Affairs Committee Legislative Chair for the Dallas Human Resources Management Association, past Chair of the ABA Health Law Section Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Ms. Stamer often has worked, extensively on these and other workforce and performance related matters. She also is recognized for her publications, industry leadership, workshops and presentations on these and other human resources concerns and regularly speaks and conducts training on these matters. Her insights on these and other matters appear in the Bureau of National Affairs, Spencer Publications, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Business Journal, the Houston Business Journal, and many other national and local publications. For more information about Ms. Stamer and her experience or to get access to other publications by Ms. Stamer see here or contact Ms. Stamer directly.
About Solutions Law Press, Inc.™
Solutions Law Press, Inc.™ provides business risk management, legal compliance, management effectiveness and other resources, training and education on human resources, employee benefits, compensation, data security and privacy, health care, insurance, and other key compliance, risk management, internal controls and other key operational concerns. If you find this of interest, you also be interested in exploring other Solutions Law Press, Inc. ™ tools, products, training and other resources here and reading some of our other Solutions Law Press, Inc.™ human resources news here including the following:
- Labor Department Adds State Unemployment Insurance To War Against Worker Misclassification EBSA Invites Input By November 19 On Need for More Regulation Of Investment Windows
- HHS Warns Insurers, TPAS Complete ACA Reinsurance & Risk Adjustment Edge Server Pre-Registration Steps By 9/27
- House Hearings Consider Authorizing House Lawsuit Challenging Consitutionality of Obama’s Health Care Reform Actions
- Review & Update HR & Benefit Practices For DOL Proposed Change In FMLA Regs, Other Rules Treating Some Same-Sex Couples As Spouses
- Employee & Other Whistleblower Complaints Common Source of HIPAA Privacy & Other Complaints
- Consider Fiduciary & Other Risk Management When Planning For ACA Transitional Reinsurance Costs, Other Plan Design Changes
- HHS Claims Average $69/Month Cost for Subsidized Coverage Shows ACA Success Challenged
- HIPAA Compliance & Breach Data Shares Helpful Lessons For Health Plans, Providers and Business Associates
- Review & Update Health Plan Notices, Language & Process For New Guidance On COBRA, Other Key Health Plan Rules
- EEOC Suit Against Pipe Fitting Business Shows Disability Discrimination Risks For Employers Hiring Vets With PTSD
- PBGC Publishes Multiemployer Plans Valuation and Notice Requirements Final Rule
- Post-Windsor Same-Sex Participant Guidance May Require Mid-Year Plan Amendments
- Arkansas Judge Finds Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Bans Unconstitutional; State Asks For Stay Pending Appeal
If you or someone you know would like to receive future updates about developments on these and other concerns, please be sure that we have your current contact information – including your preferred e-mail – by creating or updating your profile here. For important information about this communication click here.
THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMER IS INCLUDED TO COMPLY WITH AND IN RESPONSE TO U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR 230 REGULATIONS. ANY STATEMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE NOT INTENDED OR WRITTEN BY THE WRITER TO BE USED, AND NOTHING CONTAINED HEREIN CAN BE USED BY YOU OR ANY OTHER PERSON, FOR THE PURPOSE OF (1) AVOIDING PENALTIES THAT MAY BE IMPOSED UNDER FEDERAL TAX LAW, OR (2) PROMOTING, MARKETING OR RECOMMENDING TO ANOTHER PARTY ANY TAX-RELATED TRANSACTION OR MATTER ADDRESSED HEREIN.
©2014 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C. Non-exclusive license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press, Inc.™ All other rights reserved.