As we speculated yesterday, the White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 proposes to merge the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
In the proposed budget, released this morning, the OFCCP would see its budget reduced from $105 million to approximately $88 million and have its operations merged with those of the EEOC, the other civil rights enforcement agency within the Department of Labor. Funding for the EEOC is proposed to essentially stay the same at roughly $364 million.
Just a few hours after the budget was released, the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a previously scheduled hearing regarding the EEOC. Taking advantage of the opportunity to discuss the newly released proposal to merger OFCCP with EEOC, representatives from both civil rights organizations as well as employer organizations spoke out against the merger. Not often do you have the NAACP and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce align (quickly) in opposition to an administration’s proposal. In fact one media outlet reported the occurrence as the “moment of strange bedfellows.”
And it appears the concern about this consolidation is not isolated to those in attendance at the hearing. In anticipation of the proposal, Jackson Lewis has previously discussed the possible merger with employers, employer associations focused on AAP compliance, business and industry associations and other stakeholders and learned that the business community is squarely against the merger. This, coupled with the fact that it appears civil rights/women’s rights organizations and other employee advocates are opposed as well, looks to present an uphill battle for this proposal to actually come to fruition. But, in an unpredictable administration unpredictable things happen so stay tuned for updates.