OFCCP Reestablishes Ombudsman for Federal Contractors

September 21, 2018

The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced it will implement an Ombud Service in the national office to “facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns” raised by federal contractors and to conduct “independent and impartial inquiries” into enforcement-related issues and program administration.

The Ombud Service will “promote and facilitate resolution of OFCCP matters at the district and region office level,” and “work with OFCCP district and regional offices as a liaison to resolve certain issues after stakeholders have exhausted district and regional office channels.”

The Ombud Service will not “advocate for either side of a dispute,” “give legal advice, analysis, opinions, or conclusions,” or “participate in conciliation agreement negotiations.”

Good news for contractors:  OFCCP hasn’t had an ombudsman since the program was dismantled in 2008, so it will take some time to set up and become reintegrated into OFCCP’s culture.  Once established, it will provide another avenue for federal contractors to raise their concerns about inconsistent and overly aggressive enforcement actions.