As we enter the second week of the government shutdown, the federal enforcement agencies remain closed. Among the closed enforcement agencies are the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL). Each agency has prepared contingency plans during the course of the shutdown.
Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC) is currently closed, it has indicated that the time limits for filing a charge of discrimination will not be extended during the shutdown. Instead, claimants are encouraged to still file the charge during the closure and can do so online. Also, during the shutdown, the EEOC will not take any action on requests for reconsideration as it relates to charges. However, the EEOC will accept Federal Section hearing requests, appeals and requests for reconsideration. Finally the EEOC has indicated that its mediation program is suspended and any scheduled mediations are postponed until further notice.
Additionally, the vast majority of Department of Labor (DOL) employees remain on furlough during the government shutdown. The DOL has suspended all non-emergency OSHA inspections, wage and hour audits, hearings and appeals.
Additionally, the DOL has placed all of its employees in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) on furlough. Federal contract and subcontract employers that received scheduling orders letters during the shutdown can still submit their Affirmative Action Plans electronically but are encouraged to retain proof of delivery tracking information. Contractors in the middle of an OFCCP audit also are encouraged to send post-submissions requests by email to the Compliance officer or by mail immediately after the end of the government shutdown.