Bradley Attorney Sarahanne Vaughan Quoted in SHRM on OFCCP's Focus on Pay Discrepancies and Hiring Discrimination


Media Mention

Bradley attorney Sarahanne Vaughan was quoted in SHRM on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) renewed focus on wage and hour data, pay discrepancies, and hiring discrimination among federal contractors under the Biden administration. 

"The administration's appointment of Jenny Yang, a former chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and strong advocate for pay equity, as OFCCP director indicated the agency's shift in enforcement direction," said Vaughan. "Yang's appointment is an undeniable signal that compensation disparities are on the administration's to-do list."

However, a September 2020 administrative law judge's decision finding no pattern or practice of discriminatory pay may affect how compensation audits are conducted.

"The judge primarily focused on the OFCCP's inability to compare relevant groups of employees, explain the difference in jobs, identify a discriminatory practice causing the alleged pay disparity and explain away the discriminatory factors that influenced pay," Vaughan said. "In essence, the judge found issue with OFCCP's statistic gathering and analyzing methods. Thus, the new administration is likely to use Yang's expertise to formulate a solid system for gathering and analyzing pay data more reliably."

"Although hiring discrimination is not expected to be as high of an OFCCP priority as equal pay, it is still an issue that the Biden administration will pursue," Vaughan said.

She recommended that federal contractors:

  • Ensure that anti-discriminatory practices and policies are implemented and updated.
  • Strengthen any written hiring policies and criteria to include all relevant factors in hiring decisions.
  • Review diversity and inclusion efforts, giving particular attention to the hiring rates for women, minorities, protected veterans and people with disabilities.
  • Implement outreach efforts.
  • Not use quotas.

The original article, "Expect OFCCP to Focus More on Pay Equity and Data Collection," appeared in SHRM on April 23, 2021.