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Wiley Rein’s Jillian Volkmar Discusses New Scrutiny on Contractors’ Hiring Practices

Compliance Week
January 23, 2014

Jillian Volkmar, an attorney in Wiley Rein’s Employment & Labor, Litigation, and Government Contracts practices, was quoted yesterday in an article in Compliance Week about a new crackdown on potential pay discrimination by federal contractors.

According to the article, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)—part of the U.S. Department of Labor—is considering the development of a controversial new data collection tool to identify contractors’ discriminatory pay practices.  If approved, the tool would put a much greater burden on contractors to collect and maintain the data needed to report to OFCCP.

The best practice is to take a pro-active approach to the new scrutiny, Ms. Volkmar said. “Contractors should review and comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking when it comes out to ensure that they express any issues or cost burdens associated with the implementation of the proposed tool,” she said.

Ms. Volkmar suggests that contractors should conduct a self-evaluation before OFCCP can discover any problematic results in its own search.  “They should … consider conducting a self-audit of their compensation data and compensation practices with outside counsel, so it's protected by attorney-client privilege, to identify and resolve any potential compensation discrimination exposure issues,” she told Compliance Week, adding that “contractors should ensure their managers are trained on the importance of well-documented pay decisions.”