Craig Leen’s performance as OFCCP’s director has generally received high marks from the federal contractor community. Although the agency under Director Leen became much more aggressive with regard to some of its enforcement efforts, Leen’s focus on transparency, certainty, efficiency, and recognition represented a significant change in the agency’s approach and substantially improved relationships with employers, while at the same time resulting in record recoveries for alleged victims of discrimination in the workplace.
Accordingly, contractors have a significant interest in the White House’s February 3, 2020 announcement that the president will be nominating Director Leen for the position of inspector general at the Office of Personnel Management.
With a presidential election just nine months away, it seems likely that, upon Director Leen’s departure, the top position at OFCCP will remain vacant for some time, with, perhaps, a career Labor Department employee taking over as acting director until sometime in 2021.
Given the substantial changes that Director Leen has pursued at the agency—some of which were unpopular with career employees—contractors will be wondering what will happen next. This will be a particular concern for contractors that are undergoing audits during this period of transition. We will continue to watch and report on developments at OFCCP.