Based on a recent Senate appropriations bill, it appears that the Trump Administration’s plan to merge the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has stalled. The Senate bill would fund the OFCCP for Fiscal Year 2018 at approximately $103.5 million, which is more than the House’s proposed funding of $94.5 million. Congress would not be proposing funds for the agency if it planned to eliminate it.
This legislative action follows a letter from Acting OFCCP Director Thomas Dowd to the Institute for Workplace Equality on August 24, “acknowledg[ing] that the consolidation proposal includes several challenging transition issues.” Although Mr. Dowd did not expressly state that merger plans were on ice, he noted that any consolidation was unlikely to occur until Fiscal Year 2019 and that the agency would focus on “contemporaneous opportunities to improve effectiveness and efficiency.”
Perhaps Congress is listening to its constituents. The proposed merger was opposed by both civil rights advocacy groups and employer organizations, and my colleague Angelique Lyons cogently summarized the pros and cons here.
We will continue to monitor this issue for further developments.
Image Credit: From flickr, Creative Commons license, by frankie leon.