OFCCP Offers Opinion Letters and Desk Help
By: Erin Schilling
On November 30, 2018, the OFCCP made true on OFCCP Acting Director Leen’s comments in October that OFCCP was planning to implement an opinion letter program, issuing the Opinion Letters and Desk Help Directive (2019-03). This Directive is also consistent with the OFCCP’s earlier Transparency Directive covered here.
Under this Directive, the OFCCP will implement both a help desk to answer contractor questions and an opinion letter program similar to that in place with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division. The Directive places some restrictions on the opinion letters:
Opinion letters do not establish any legally enforceable rights or obligations
Opinion letters should not be used to provide legal advice or to resolve questions that are the subject of ongoing or expected litigation
OFCCP should not provide opinion letters to a contractor during the pendency of a compliance evaluation of that contractor’s establishment
While the opinion letters do not establish legally enforceable rights or obligations, OFCCP will consider whether a contractor complied in good faith with the guidance provided in opinion letters in determining whether to proceed with an enforcement recommendation in a given matter.