Wiley Rein LLP


Employment & Labor | EMPLOYMENT ISSUES IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING

Wiley Rein provides guidance and representation on virtually every legal issue arising in the workplace, including employment issues that are unique to federal contractors. For example, our attorneys counsel clients on matters of compliance with the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) affirmative action requirements under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which imposes obligations on federal contractors with respect to the disabled), the unique requirements that apply to contractor employees supporting the Armed Services overseas, and other federal laws and regulations that affect government contractors and their employees. We counsel clients on the creation and review of affirmative action plans and compliance policies, as well as preparation for compliance reviews and preventive audits. In addition, we routinely advise federal contractors regarding covenants not to compete relating to current and prospective employees, the differences between an "employee" and an "independent contractor," and the myriad other traditional employment issues that companies encounter.

Wiley Rein also provides counseling, training, audit, and litigation services to federal service contractors.  More than half of all federal procurement dollars are spent on services. Accordingly, compliance with the Service Contract Act (SCA) is a key concern for many contractors. Wiley Rein attorneys regularly provide guidance and representation on SCA issues, [See The Service Contract Act - Ten Common (But Avoidable) Issues and Pitfalls and Indirect Cost and Profit Recovery for Increased Wages] as well as wage and hour requirements, pension contribution issues, and the employment matters that arise when a contract is transitioned from one federal contractor to another. [See Department of Labor Proposes Non-Displacement Rules for Contracts Covered by the Service Contract Act]

 An illustrative list of recent engagements includes:

  • Prepared a successful petition on behalf of two large service contractors seeking approval of use of a self-funded insurance plan as a bona fide fringe benefit under the SCA.
  • Conducted a comprehensive SCA compliance audit of a business unit with more than $1 billion in service contracts and prepared report summarizing findings and recommendations to mitigate SCA compliance risk.
  • Assisted a prime contractor with investigation and remediation of subcontractor failure to provide the required minimum level of fringe benefits under the SCA.
  • Assessed DOL audit findings and assisted with negotiation of settlement of labor category misclassification allegations under multi-million-dollar service contract.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs wage and hour requirements for employers and establishes standards to define who is exempt from the overtime requirements of the law. The FLSA, along with the many state statutes, creates a confusing web of requirements that can result in significant liability for any employer. Our Group is adept at counseling clients on FLSA compliance issues and creating company policies and procedures to minimize the risk of potential litigation. We assist employers in conducting wage and hour self-audits and have successfully resolved several national class-action wage and hour disputes. 

In addition, we regularly represent clients during investigations by DOL agencies such as the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We have successfully represented contractors in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) audits and investigations relating to these requirements and individual claims of discrimination.

An illustrative list of recent engagements includes:

  • Represented a government contractor in the investigation and pre-litigation settlement of a controversial matter involving break-time and pension contribution under the SCA.
  • Successfully represented a large, privately held corporation in an OFCCP "glass-ceiling" audit, leading to a rare letter of compliance on the opening day of the audit.
  • Successfully defended contractors against claims of discrimination based on race, national origin, veterans status, and retaliation.
  • Represented government contractors in connection with OFCCP pay equity audits, compliance reviews, and complaint investigations, as well as in response to violation notices and during the conciliation process.