Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. Here are the highlights related to labor and employment law, and there are a BUNCH. The following is a compilation of a number of articles published in yesterday’s edition of Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Labor Report (paid subscription required to access articles):
Anti-discrimination enforcement (EEOC and OFCCP): As I’ve noted here and here, the President was expected to propose merging the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and he has. More specifically, the proposal was that the OFCCP would be “absorbed” by the EEOC. The OFCCP enforces various anti-discrimination laws that apply to federal contractors. The EEOC enforces various anti-discrimination laws that apply to all employers with certain minimum numbers of employees. The proposed budget says that the two agencies are expected to “work collaboratively” on carrying out the merger, which would take effect at the end of FY 2018. Almost nobody likes the idea. (Well, with a few exceptions, including me — it makes some sense to me since their functions are so similar.) Although the President might be able to carry out the merger of the two agencies’ Title VII functions by simply issuing a new Executive Order to amend the famous EO 11246 (issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson), Congressional action may be required to allow the EEOC to absorb the OFCCP’s functions as they relate to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. Bloomberg BNA reports that there is some precedent for such a step: In 1978, President Jimmy Carter moved enforcement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Equal Pay Act from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division to the EEOC. Before he did so, however, Congress had passed legislation authorizing him to reorganize government agency functions.
While this proposed merger is being worked on, the OFCCP intends to focus its efforts on systemic pay discrimination. (So, contractors, don’t slack off on your comp audits!) Continue Reading