Social Engineering Run Amok in the Department of Labor

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Posted: Jan 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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A few years ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released two reports detailing enforcement and litigation abuses by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP. Instead of holding firms accountable when they engage in real discrimination against their employees, the agency has become a government arm for securing high-dollar settlements on dubious grounds.

Congress has not moved to rein in this abuse, though that may change if one of the few companies that are finally standing up to the agency prevails against its abuser.

Created by a Lyndon Johnson-era Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces the federal government’s affirmative action and anti-discrimination mandates on federal contractors. It typically does so through routine audits, which are often fishing expeditions. The behavior of its auditors has been widely criticized for decades. Complaints include allegations of arbitrary and abusive exercises of power, waste of resources and intimidation. There’s no good excuse for this type of bullying by a government agency.

Because the agency has the power to

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