Welcome to the PilieroMazza blog, featuring trending legal insight in the areas of government contracting, general business and corporate issues, labor and employment, and civil litigation matters.

Misclassifying Employees Can Have Major Consequences

March 21, 2019
By Anthony M. Batt
Today's economy is saturated with new ways to earn money without being subject to a set schedule or traditional employer demands. With so many individuals working part-time jobs with more autonomy than ever, companies are struggling to determine whether to classify those workers as independent contractors or employees. The distinction between those two categories is extremely important and can affect all aspects of your business, including benefits, overtime pay, and workers' compensation.

OFCCP Investigations on the Rise: How Should You Prepare?

March 20, 2019
By Meghan F. Leemon
The number of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) investigations is on the rise, and OFCCP has stated a continued focus on enforcement. OFCCP enforces the contractual promise of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action required of those that do business with the federal government. Between fiscal years 2015–2017, the OFCCP received an average of 648 complaints annually. However, in fiscal year 2018, this number more than doubled, jumping to 1,418 complaints received. And, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, 349 complaints were received.

Does SBA's New Recertification Rule Apply to My Contract? Recent OHA Decision Provides Some Clarity

March 15, 2019
By Samuel S. Finnerty
The U.S. Small Business Administration's ("SBA") regulations require a concern to recertify its socio-economic (e.g., SDVO SBC, HUBZone, WOSB/EDWOSB) and/or small business size status (1) within 30 days of an approved contract novation; (2) within 30 days of a transaction becoming final in the case of a merger, sale, or acquisition, where contract novation is not required; and (3) no more than 120 days prior to the end of the fifth year of a contract exceeding five years in duration (including options) and no more than 120 days prior to exercising any option thereafter. See 13 CFR §§ 121.404(g), 125.18(e)(1), 126.601(h)(1), and 127.503(h)(1). While these timelines are clear, the effect of recertification is subject to different interpretations.

GAO Finds That Federal Agencies Have Made Few SBIR Awards to Small Businesses Majority-Owned by Multiple Venture Capital Operating Companies, Hedge Funds, or Private Equity Firms

March 13, 2019
By Patrick T. Rothwell
The purposes of the Small Business Innovation Research ("SBIR") program include, among other things, the use of small businesses to meet federally funded R&D needs and the fostering and encouragement of participation by SDBs and WOSBs in technological innovation. Federal agencies with obligations of more than $100 million for extramural R&D activities (that is, R&D conducted by non-federal employees outside of federal facilities) must establish an SBIR program and are required to spend a percentage of their extramural R&D obligations for each year. For fiscal year 2017 and in each fiscal year after, the percentage that must be spent on SBIR awards is 3.2 percent. Each participating agency's SBIR program is surveyed and monitored by SBA.

Are You Complying with All Applicable Procurement Requirements?

March 12, 2019
By Julia Di Vito
Entering into contracts with the federal government requires contractors to comply with a significant number of requirements, including statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements. And, under the False Claims Act, the penalties for failing to comply with those requirements can be steep. In fiscal year 2018, there was a total of $2.88 billion in settlements and judgments in False Claims Act cases. That $2.88 billion includes settlements and judgments for procurement-related fraud cases brought under the False Claims Act.
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