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LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW — 08/19/09

DOL confirms Shiu will be OFCCP Director

Patricia A. Shiu will be the next Director of the OFCCP, a source at the Department of Labor has confirmed to CCH. Shiu is currently vice president for programs at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) in San Francisco, California. The OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. These laws require federal contractors and sub-contractors to implement affirmative action programs and to guarantee equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, gender, disability, or covered veteran status. Although some reports have indicated that Shiu will begin serving as OFCCP director in September, no exact date has been set, according to the DOL spokesperson.

A biography of Shiu is posted on the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area website (http://www.aaba-bay.com/aaba/showpage.asp?code=pat%20shiu). The biography states that prior to joining the LAS-ELC, Shiu worked as an associate at the law firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro. She received her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1982 and her B.A. in Political Economy of Industrialized States from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979.

The current title for the OFCCP Director is “Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Contract Compliance” within the Department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration. However, that could change because the Department of Labor (DOL) will be eliminating the Employment Standards Administration (ESA), effective November 8, 2009. The reorganization will abolish the ESA umbrella organization and name but will maintain the four component programs — the OFCCP, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), and the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP).

Under the current organizational structure, the Assistant Secretary for the ESA, not the heads of the four sub-agencies, has the authority to report directly to the Secretary of Labor. Following the reorganization, these four sub-agencies will be reporting directly to the Secretary of Labor as stand-alone agencies. The titles of the heads of each of the sub-agencies have not yet been announced.

According to the DOL spokesperson, the reorganization is intended to streamline the organizational structure of the department in order to significantly improve policy decisionmaking with respect to the four individual programs, as well as enhance the department's responsiveness in enforcing key worker protection laws.

For more information on this and other topics, consult CCH Employment Practices Guide or CCH Labor Relations.

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