Less than three weeks after becoming the Acting Director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and just one week after delivering his first public remarks as the agency’s new chief, former OFCCP Senior Advisor Craig E. Leen has issued two new directives that will change the way OFCCP approaches federal contractor compliance evaluations during his tenure.

In the first directive (2018-03), agency staff has been instructed to take into account recent legal developments regarding “religion-exercising organizations and individuals,” essentially providing some federal contractors with a potential defense against OFCCP allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex (including LGBTQ status), race/ethnicity, national origin, or religion when employment decisions are made on religious grounds.

In the second directive (2018-04), Mr. Leen has instructed OFCCP personnel to begin implementing so-called “focused reviews” that involve a thorough examination of a contractor’s compliance with only one of the three “authorities” OFCCP enforces – Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) – rather than a comprehensive audit and evaluation of a contractor’s compliance with all three.

In addition to the two new directives, in public remarks to attendees at the recent ILG Annual Conference, Acting Director Leen also previewed several other agency initiatives revolving around his four main goals for OFCCP, i.e., (1) transparency; (2) certainty; (3) efficiency; and (4) recognition.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.