It is with some trepidation that I even bring up this topic. However, as a practitioner of close to 40 years in the areas of affirmative action and EEO, I find myself more uncertain than ever before about the future of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Executive Order (EO) 11246, and the legal principles behind affirmative action.
Ever since the election of Donald Trump, the future of affirmative action and the OFCCP has been a topic of discussion and conjecture in the legal, HR, and various stakeholder communities. To the extent that commentators have been willing to weigh-in on the topic, most predictions have come down on the side that both the OFCCP and affirmative action as a legal principle are for the most part, “safe.” However, just how “safe” things really are is far from certain.
On March 13, 2017, President Trump signed a new Executive Order directing the head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review every executive branch agency to identify “where money can be saved and services improved.” OMB is to consider “… (ii) whether some or all of the functions of an agency, a component, or a program are redundant, including with those of another agency, component, or program…” and “… (iii) whether certain administrative capabilities necessary for operating an agency, a component, or a program are redundant with those of another agency, component, or program…”
Then, on March 16, 2017, President Trump’s 2017 budget was released. The budget proposes a 21% reduction in funds for the Department of Labor (DOL). There is nothing that indicates that the reductions will be spread evenly throughout the Department. Some agencies and programs could experience larger reductions than others.
Six days later on March 22, 2017, Alexander Acosta, the nominee for Secretary of Labor, had his Senate confirmation hearing. During the hearing, there was no discussion regarding his take on the future of the OFCCP. However, in response to questioning, Acosta responded that he would follow the March 13, 2017 executive order. Continue reading The Future of the OFCCP, the Executive Order and Affirmative Action