Capitol Correspondence - 07.08.19

Size of DOL Staff Reviewing Contractors’ Anti-Discrimination Compliance Shrinks

Share this page

ANCOR is sharing this article by Politico Morning Shift because of its implications for the employment of individuals with disabilities. Note that in May Esme Grewal, ANCOR Vice President of Government Relations, led a disability coalition meeting with Director Craig Leen from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) which oversees all enforcement of nondiscrimination by employers doing business with the federal government. Director Leen is a parent of a child with a disability and during the meeting had highlighted this Administration’s positive impact of the office on federal disability employment.

As shared by Politico Morning Shift:

— Staffing at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has fallen by 16 percent under Trump, reducing investigations of federal contractors’ compliance with anti-discrimination laws even as contract spending increased.

STAFFING FALLS AT OFCCP: ‘The number of government watchdogs who police federal contractors’ compliance with anti-discrimination laws has fallen by 16 percent since President Donald Trump took office, even as federal spending on government contracts has risen by roughly the same proportion,’ POLITICO’s Rebecca Rainey reports. With few new hires to offset resignations, transfers, firings and retirements, staffing at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs shrank from 564 to 473. That’s the lowest level in at least a decade.

OFCCP started shrinking during the Obama administration when a congressionally-imposed budget sequester required DOL to tighten its belt in 2013. The Trump administration moved more aggressively to shrink staffing at OFCCP (which it proposed merging with the EEOC) even as federal contract spending “rose to $550 billion in FY 2018, an increase of more than $100 billion over FY 2015.

Investigations have also fallen. OFCCP conducted an average 977 compliance evaluations per year in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 — about one quarter the rate during the Obama administration. During that same period it investigated 9 percent of the 2,870 discrimination complaints it received, compared to 21 percent under Obama.”