DOL Issues New Directives on Opinion Letters, Compliance Evaluations

The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs has issued three new directives regarding its enforcement of the nondiscrimination provisions of Executive Order 11246, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. Among other things, the directives will establish a process for issuing opinion letters, which provide authoritative guidance in response to institution-specific or industry-wide questions.

The directives also provide additional compliance assistance and guidance through publicly available and searchable “help desk” questions and answers; establish early resolution procedures to resolve violations through conciliation without issuing adverse agency action; and rescind a 2011 directive that had established active case enforcement procedures.

Although its conclusion is disputed by many, OFCCP has long asserted that deposit insurance is a federal contract and that all FDIC-insured banks are therefore federal contractors subject to OFCCP’s authority.