On January 3, 2011, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a notice of proposed rescission of the Bush era Interpretive Standards for Systemic Compensation Discrimination (Standards) and the Voluntary Guidelines for Self-Evaluation of Compensation Practices for Compliance with Executive Order 11246 with Respect to Compensation Discrimination (Voluntary Guidelines). The notice of proposed rescission can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-01-03/pdf/2010-32602.pdf.
The Standards and Voluntary Guidelines were both published in June 2006. The Standards were designed to establish procedures to be followed by OFCCP Compliance Officers when conducting compensation compliance reviews, while the Voluntary Guidelines established procedures for contractors to use when conducting a self-analysis, which included utilizing similarly situated groupings, composed of groups meeting numerical thresholds.
The OFCCP maintains that it is seeking to rescind the Standards because they impose very narrow procedures that limited the OFCCP’s ability to investigate and identify compensation discrimination. The OFCCP states that the agency is seeking to rescind the Voluntary Guidelines because the guidelines are rarely used by the contractor community. In addition, the guidelines established similarly situated employee grouping thresholds that were extremely difficult to meet.
The OFCCP has made no plans to replace the standards or the voluntary guidelines. The notice states that the agency will, however, continue to develop and issue compensation investigation procedures in the same manner as other investigation procedures (e.g. the FCCM, directives, and staff guidance materials).
OFCCP is seeking comments regarding the proposed rescission. Comments must be received by March 4, 2011. A copy of the comments that Glenn Barlett Consulting Services, LLC submitted to the Department of Labor can be downloaded at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=OFCCP-2011-0001-0004.
Please contact us by calling (732) 446-2529 or sending us an e-mail at email@example.com if you are interested in additional information regarding the notice of rescission of the compensation standards and voluntary guidelines.