HR Huddle - December 20, 2021

Overview

  • The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued an announcement on December 2, 2021 introducing its new contractor portal.  OFCCP describes the portal as a “platform where covered contractors must certify whether they are meeting their requirement to develop and maintain annual AAPs [affirmative action programs].”  Beginning on March 31, 2022, contractors will be able to utilize the certification feature in the portal to certify their AAP compliance and existing contractors “must” certify whether they have developed and maintained an affirmative action program for each of their establishments or functional units by June 30, 2022.
  • EEOC adds new info on when COVID-19 may be a disability: What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws | U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (eeoc.gov).
  • The US DOL Wage and Hour Division has announced a final rule to implement Executive Order 14026 that will increase the federal contractor hourly minimum wage to $15.
  • The Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate established by EO 14042 is now subject to a nationwide injunction entered by Federal Judge Stan Baker of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia on December 7, 2021. This injunction ordered the federal government to temporarily stop enforcement of the COVID vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Employers may still choose to adopt voluntary vaccine mandates but must be mindful of the states that have adopted laws limiting or banning vaccine mandates.  
  • Due to a stay by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, all activities related to the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS have been suspended. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit now has jurisdiction over ETS challenges and DOL has filed a motion to lift the stay. Note that the ETS also acts as a proposal for a permanent standard that is subject to the normal rulemaking procedures. Accordingly, the comment period, which is separate from the litigation, has been extended to January 19, 2022.
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Topics: HR Huddle

HR Huddle - November 30, 2021

Overview

  • In accordance with EO 14042 and the latest updates from the Safer Federal Workforce Taskforce, federal contractors must ensure their employees are fully-vaccinated no later than January 18, 2022 (as opposed to January 4, 2022).
  • Due to a stay by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, all activities related to the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS have been suspended.
  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is considering permanent approval for remote I-9 verification.
  • The US DOL Wage and Hour Division has announced a final rule to implement Executive Order 14026 that will increase the federal contractor hourly minimum wage to $15.
  • The Biden Administration has reinstated the Executive Order pertaining to Non-displacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts.
  • The US Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have come together to end workplace retaliation and promote workers’ rights.
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HR Huddle - October 28, 2021

Overview

  • The deadline of December 8, 2021 requiring Federal contractor employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is quickly approaching.
  • The proposed OSHA vaccine mandate for private employers is NOT YET in effect.
  • The EEOC recently updated their Technical Assistance Questions and Answers that address questions about religious objections to employer COVID-19 vaccine requirements and how they interact with federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws.
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HR Huddle - September 30, 2021

Overview

  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the OFCCP Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) Verification Program.
  • The EEOC will soon require contractors to use new EEO tabulation data from 2014-2018 in their AAPs.
  • The OFCCP is rescinding its previously issued notice stating that it would not request, accept, or use EEO-1 Component 2 data. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security has extended the Form I-9 verification flexibility.
  • As part of President Biden’s COVID-19 Plan, an Executive Order (#14043) on COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Workers and Contractors was signed on September 9, 2021. 
  • As a reminder, September 30th is the deadline to file the VETS-4212 report.
  • You are invited to join a national online dialogue on “Advancing Worker Equity at the U.S. Department of Labor.”
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HR Huddle - August 31, 2021

Overview:

  • The EEOC has introduced a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) workshop series.
  • The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to create standards and procedures to implement and enforce President Biden’s earlier Executive Order (EO 14026) that will increase the federal contractor minimum wage.
  • Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic is still an issue for workplaces across the country.
  • The EEO-1 Reporting deadline has been changed again to October 25, 2021.
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HR Huddle - July 29, 2021

Overview:

  • EEO-1 reporting has been extended once again. The deadline is now August 23rd. Additionally, they have made an improvement to the reports feature on the website to help users have a better experience. 
  • EEO Tabulation data from 2014 to 2018 is now available. 
  • Biden's new Executive Order (EO) takes aim at noncompete agreements.
  • A potential major challenge at the OFCCP could impact the 2020 Final Rule "Procedures to Resolve Potential Discrimination."
  • I-9 flexibility is extended until August 31, 2021.
  • The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to create standards and procedures to implement and enforce President Biden's earlier Executive Order 14026 that will increase the federal contractor minimum wage to $15 per hour.
  • Department of Labor issued All Agency Memorandum 237 increasing the Health and Welfare benefit applicable to SCA-covered contracts.
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HR Huddle - June 29, 2021

Overview:

  • EEOC launches new landing page that is a one-stop-shop for information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity workplace rights.
  • The White House seeks to continue providing remote work opportunities for federal employees.
  • The DOL makes plans to update the DBA and Related Acts Regulations.
  • EEO-1 data collection is now open and due July 19th.
  • US Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas.
  • Juneteenth is now a federal holiday.
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HR Huddle - May 27, 2021

Overview:

  • EEOC increases the monetary penalty for violating notice-posting requirements. 
  • On May 18, 2021, the IRS released guidance regarding tax relief provided by the "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021" for COBRA-related continuation of health coverage.
  • OSHA released new guidance on employer requirement to record adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccination if the employer requires employees to take the vaccine.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services announced, "the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX's prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity."
  • The CDC provided updated guidance for fully-vaccinated individuals on May 13, 2021, relaxing the recommendations for wearing face masks and social distancing. 
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HR Huddle - April 30, 2021

Overview:

  • Biden Administration signs Executive Order to Increase Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors to $15/hour
  • I-9 Physical Inspection eased again until May 31, 2021
  • OFCCP – Focused Reviews canceled
  • OFCCP updated the 2021 Annual Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) hiring benchmark
  • Annual AAP Certification – Will OFCCP require this soon?
  • Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes new COBRA subsidy requirement for most employers
  • On April 15, 2021, the House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7)
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HR Huddle - March 25, 2021

Overview:

  • OFCCP recently amended its Supply and Service Scheduling List
  • On March 11, 2021, Biden signed the “American Rescue Plan of 2021
  • On March 12, 2021, Biden’s DOL announced plans to rescind two “Final Rules”
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Topics: HR Huddle