The latest announcements from the U.S. Deapartment of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) continue its efforts to improve transparency and services to federal contractors required to comply with federal regulations.

The OFCCP filled the position of Ombudsman that it announced in September 2018. The new ombudsman service was created in an effort to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns raised by OFCCP’s external stakeholders.

Marcus Stergio is the new OFCCP Ombudsman. According to an OFCCP press release, Stergio has previously served as the primary administrator of the dispute resolution process for a number of multi-national organizations, companies and institutions. The Ombudsman will work with a variety of OFCCP stakeholders nationwide, including federal contractors and subcontractors, to provide assurance to contractors and other stakeholders that OFCCP is treating them fairly, in a manner consistent with the Agency’s legal authorities, policies, and procedures. It is also intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal OFCCP operations.

The agency also has launched its Contractor Assistance Portal, which will provide companies with information to help them overcome common compliance problems and challenges. The portal will give stakeholders an opportunity to provide input so that OFCCP may better help them in the context of compliance requirements.

OFCCP stakeholders can also use the online portal to support the spread of successful strategies and the creation of new knowledge. According to OFCCP : “As part of this forum, OFCCP will periodically host live group chats or discussions. By participating in this portal, OFCCP can gather stakeholder input on how it can be helpful and responsive to contractors’ information needs in the context of compliance. Even when OFCCP is not online, you can post questions and access specialized topic areas. These questions will be archived for later use and reference.”

Employers can sign up and join the conversation with OFCCP officials by clicking here.

The OFCCP enforces EO 11246, Section 503 and VEVRAA, which prohibit contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, these laws require federal contractors to take steps to ensure equal employment opportunity in their employment processes.

To learn more about achieving pay equity, click here.