BLOG: OFCCP Releases Technical Assistance Guide for Construction Contractors

In keeping with its commitment to offer more technical guidance for government contractors across all industries, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently published its Technical Assistance Guide (the Guide) for construction contractors. The OFCCP released the Guide as a self-assessment tool to help contractors review the equal employment opportunity practices they have in place. Using this tool, and fixing issues it might reveal, may help construction contractors avoid potential investigation and interruption to their business operations. For . . . Read More

BLOG: SCOTUS Clarifies Vague Arbitration Clauses Affecting Class Disputes for Growing Businesses

For most small to medium-sized businesses, the threat of a class action is not usually front-of-mind. However, as a business grows, the threat can increase depending on the number of employees and the nature of the work being performed.  Class actions are commonly thought of as involving hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals.  However, courts routinely consider much smaller groups of employees, including groups of approximately 40 individuals to be sufficient to establish a class action.  To reduce the risk . . . Read More

BLOG: Impact of DOL’s Changes to FLSA Salary Basis Test on Government Contractors and Commercial Businesses

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule  to change the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) salary basis test, which is integral to classifying an employee as exempt from overtime payments. In order to designate an employee as FLSA overtime exempt, an employer must ensure that the employee meets both a salary basis test, which establishes a salary threshold, and a duties test, which establishes the types of responsibilities and knowledge required to be eligible for an . . . Read More

BLOG: Minimum Wage for Government Contractors Increases January 1, 2020

Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors (the Order) established a minimum wage for employees working on, or in connection with, covered government contracts. Each year, the Department of Labor (DOL) assesses the established minimum wage and, using determined methodology, announces an increase. On September 19, the  DOL announced [1]  the rate would increase to $10.80 per hour on January 1, 2020. The required minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to tipped employees performing work on, or in connection with, covered . . . Read More

BLOG: Building Compliance: Construction Industry Concerns Under FCA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled and obtained judgments in excess of $2.8 billion for false claims against the government last year. Over $2.1 billion of these cases arose from lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA) which incentivizes whistleblowers to file claims. Government contractors in the construction industry – both primes and subs – face a higher risk of FCA liability because of the complicated nature of construction contracts and prevailing wage obligations. Below we . . . Read More

BLOG: The Big Miss: When Job Misclassification Strikes Hard

Everywhere you look companies are being hit hard with claims of misclassification of workers under labor regulations. So far in August 2019, Department of Labor (DOL) has announced over $2 Million in damages paid to employees, and this doesn’t even include voluntary settlements handled outside of DOL. In fact, General Dynamics was recently hit with a $170,000 settlement regarding claims that the company misclassified call center workers under the Service Contract Act (SCA). To avoid such penalties and to remain legally compliant, . . . Read More

BLOG: EEOC Announces New EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Deadline

September 30, 2019 marks the newly announced deadline for employers who submit annual EEO-1 reports to report employee 2018 pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC revealed the new deadline in a federal court submission last week. UPDATE: Since the  original blog  on this topic was published, the court issued an order confirming the September 30, 2019 deadline, and requiring the EEOC to collect a second year of data in addition to the 2018 pay information. The EEOC has also . . . Read More

BLOG: Use It Or Lose It – U.S. Supreme Court Holds Employers Who Wait Too Long to Raise EEOC Claim Objection to Title VII Discrimination Lawsuit May Forfeit Objection

Recently, in Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, the U.S. Supreme Court was faced with a jurisdictional question: If a plaintiff fails to exhaust her remedies by first filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) claim, is she jurisdictionally barred from suing her employer for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”)? In typical lawyerly fashion, the Supreme Court drew a distinction between “mandatory” and “jurisdictional” and answered with an “it depends.”  This blog addresses the . . . Read More

BLOG: Halting Employee’s Right to Report Cybersecurity Noncompliance Can Land Government Contractors in Hot Water

Last week signaled a potential rude awakening for government contractors subject to cybersecurity requirements. A California U.S. district court ruled that allegations against Aerojet Rocketdyne could progress following a former employee’s complaint that the company terminated his employment after he disclosed cybersecurity failures to the company’s board of directors and refused to sign documents indicating that the company was compliant. Among the employee’s chief allegations is a charge that the company violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing its . . . Read More

EEOC Announces New EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Deadline

September 30, 2019, marks the newly announced deadline for employers who submit annual EEO-1 reports to report employee 2018 pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC revealed the new deadline in a federal court submission last week. The judge in the case will still need to approve of the EEOC’s plan before it becomes the official cutoff date. Employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees (and a contract or . . . Read More