Friday, January 14, 2011

Department of Labor Working with Federal Financial Agencies to Set Up Dodd-Frank Mandated Office

Tucked within the broad package of financial industry reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Act is a provision mandating that each of over a dozen covered federal financial agencies establish, including the SEC and the FDIC, no later than six months after the law's enactment, an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to "be responsible for all agency matters relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities." Section 342 of the Act requires each OMWI to monitor the diversity efforts of the agencies, the regulated entities, and agency contractors. In cases where an OMWI director determines that an agency contractor has failed to make a good faith effort to include minorities and women in their workforce, the agency head may refer the matter to the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) or take other appropriate action, including termination of the applicable contract.

The OFCCP has indicated that the DOL Deputy Secretary sent a letter to his counterparts at all of the covered federal financial agencies inviting them to partner with the OFCCP as they go about establishing their agency’s OMWI. The OFCCP has held introductory meetings with several of these agencies and anticipate ongoing communication, coordination, and collaboration to ensure consistency in approaches and avoid duplication of efforts.

This post was contributed by Cynthia Hackerott, J.D.