08 February 2017

Two Minute Update: First of Many Trump-Era Reforms?

The well-known Confucius saying, “May you live in interesting times” is certainly true for federal contractors. Three important events happened last week.

First, on January 31 OFCCP issued an updated self-ID form for contractors to use for the next 3 years with voluntary disclosure of disability status. This is a mandatory form that must be used by contractors, unlike self-disclosure of sex, race and veteran status. Nothing changed on the form except for a new 2020 expiration date. But this new form must be used as of February 1 for paper and online self-ID of disability – in both pre-offer applicant and post-offer onboarding. Contact us for a copy, or you can download from OFCCP’s website.

Second, in a controversial 2014 Executive Order, then-President Obama added sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics for federal contractors. Many people expected that President Trump might rescind that measure.  However, in a surprise move last week, the White House announced that the President decided to leave the LGBT rights executive order intact.

It remains to be seen whether the President intends to broaden some form of religious entity exclusion, which does not currently exist. Bottom line, there’s no immediate change to listing sexual orientation and gender identity in certain recruiting “tag lines,” or the impact on fringe benefit programs.

Third, other President Obama actions are starting to unravel. Last October a federal court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction to block most of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order. Its fate remained uncertain during an appeal. But late last week the House of Representatives passed a disapproval resolution to permanently scrap the “Blacklisting” program. It now goes to the Senate, where a simple majority will send it to the president. If signed, this Resolution would also permanently ban the Labor Dept from resurrecting a similar program in the future. It appears as if Fair Pay reporting will soon be a dead issue, bringing welcome relief to federal contractors.

Stay tuned for future Two Minute Updates to keep you informed.