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We may be on the verge of pay equity and transparency requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors. On January 30, 2024 the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) issued proposed rulemaking that would, if finalized in its current form, require a significant change in recruiting and hiring practices for some contractors.

The FAR Council’s rule would:

  1. Require covered contractors to implement new compensation disclosure requirements in job announcements for certain positions, and
  2. Prohibit covered contractors from requesting or considering applicants’ compensation history when making employment decisions.

The public has until April 1, 2024 to submit comments. We will be tracking this proposed rule as it continues to develop. 

This is just the most recent development in the nationwide wave of state (e.g. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington) and local (e.g. Cincinnati, Jersey City, New York City and others) pay transparency regulation our team has chronicled on our blog–see our most recent update on the District of Columbia’s new legislation here. Recently, there has also been litigation in various jurisdictions (e.g. Washington and New York City) seeking to enforce pay transparency regulations that are already on the books. 

Potentially broad application

In its current form, the proposed rule would have broad application, covering both prime contractors and subcontractors performing a government contract or subcontract within the United States (including its outlying areas). The FAR Council states that it contemplated limiting application of the requirements to certain contracts but ultimately did not go that way since “[t]he benefits of the pay equity and transparency requirements in this proposed rule are equally impactful in commercial and noncommercial settings as well as to large or small dollar contracts.”

The proposal defines “work on or in connection with the [government] contract” as “work called for by the contract or work activities necessary to the performance of the contract but not specifically called for by the contract.” The Council “encourages” contractors to apply its provisions “to other positions, including to the recruitment and hiring for any position that the Contractor reasonably believes could eventually perform work on or in connection with the contract.”

Both requirements apply only to “applicants,” defined as a “prospective employee or current employee applying for a position to perform work on or in connection with the [government] contract.”Continue Reading Federal Contractors May Soon Be Required To Disclose Salary Ranges in Job Postings, And Prohibited From Seeking Applicant Salary History

The US Supreme Court’s SFFA decision ending affirmative action in higher education continues to have ramifications for corporate America. Attacks to workplace DEI are gaining momentum with targeted challenges from a variety of angles, not the least of which are those coming from conservative advocacy groups filing lawsuits, requesting agency investigations and pursuing other complaints. Just last week, as many prepared to watch Taylor Swift’s boyfriend perform in the Super Bowl, America First Legal (a nonprofit founded by a former adviser to Donald Trump) filed an EEOC complaint against the NFL challenging the Rooney Rule, a widely used hiring practice that emanated in the NFL and is followed across corporate America. For in-house counsel, this just further emphasizes the need to continue to diligently monitor the changing DEI landscape for signals warranting targeted audits or adjustments to workplace DEI programming.

When should in-house counsel take action? Let’s start to answer that question by looking at where we are now and the escalation of events in the past 7 months.

Timeline of Recent Material Attacks on Workplace ID&E

July 2023 | Letter to Employers from 13 State AGs

Thirteen attorneys general used SFFA to support their opposition to corporate DEI programs (see letter to Fortune 100 CEOs here). In response, attorneys general from other states wrote to the same CEOs stating that SFFA “does not prohibit, or even impose new limits on, the ability of private employers to pursue diversity, equity, and inclusion.”Continue Reading Is The Risk Calculus Related To Workplace DEI Shifting For US Employers This Election Year?

Combining the views of 600 senior in-house lawyers at multinational companies across four continents with the insights of Baker McKenzie experts in tax, employment and antitrust, the 7th Edition of our Global Disputes Forecast helps in-house counsel see around corners as they prepare for 2024. The forecast includes detailed predictions for disputes involving ESG, cybersecurity

Join us for our virtual New York 2023-2024 Employment Law Update on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 at 1 pm ET.

In this 60-minute session, our team will highlight what employers in New York and the surrounding areas need to know to effectively navigate 2024, with practical tips to handle the latest developments including:

  • The shifting

Special thanks to co-presenters Teresa Michaud and Bradford Newman.

California’s CLE Compliance Deadline Is Approaching…    
We can help!

If your last name starts with H-M, you are probably well aware that your CLE compliance deadline is right around the corner – February 1, 2024. In addition to the general credit requirement, the state of California requires all attorneys to complete:

  • At least four hours of legal ethics
  • At least one hour on competence issues
  • At least two hours on the elimination of bias in the legal profession and society. Of the two hours, at least one hour must focus on implicit bias and the promotion of bias-reducing strategies.

Our lawyers will offer three virtual sessions, focused on key considerations for AI development and utilization, to help you meet your CLE requirements. These sessions will also offer CLE credit in the states of Illinois, Texas, and New York. Participants requesting CLE for other states will receive uniform CLE certificates. 

Please register and let us know which individual session(s) you plan to attend. We look forward to your participation!


Promoting Unity: Overcoming the Risks of Bias and Prejudice in the Workplace

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm Pacific
1 hour Elimination of Bias credit (pending approval)Continue Reading California AI CLE Series

In 2023, we helped US employers overcome a host of new challenges across the employment law landscape. Many companies started the year with difficult cost-cutting decisions and hybrid work challenges. More recently, employers faced challenges around intense political discourse boiling over in the workplace. We’ve worked hard to keep our clients ahead of the curve on these

Presented by the Institute for Technology Law & Policy at Georgetown Law in collaboration with Baker McKenzie.

On November 8, join thought leaders from government, the judiciary, academia, and private practice for this timely gathering on the Georgetown Law campus in Washington, DC. Laws and policy surrounding the protection of trade secrets are changing as technology

Effective September 17, employers with four or more employees in New York state must include a compensation range in all advertisements for new jobs, promotions and transfer opportunities. A pay transparency fact sheet and FAQ document are available on the NYSDOL website with additional information and guidance on the new law. 

Overlap and City

On September 8, 2023, the Department of Labor announced publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is proposing to update and revise the Fair Labor Standards Act regulations implementing the minimum wage and overtime

While the US Supreme Court’s June 27 decision striking down race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina does not directly apply to private employers, the decision will reverberate and impact corporate ID&E programs as a practical matter.

The Decision Ends Systematic Consideration of Race in the Admissions Process

Striking down the affirmative action programs at Harvard and UNC, the Court ruled that both programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In so doing, the Court effectively overturned the 2003 ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, in which it said race could be considered as a factor in the admissions process because universities had a compelling interest in maintaining diverse campuses.

In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas called the programs “rudderless, race-based preferences designed to ensure a particular racial mix in the entering classes.” Both policies “fly in the face of our colorblind Constitution and our nation’s equality ideal,” he added.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Court’s first Black female justice, said: “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”Continue Reading ID&E in the Workplace After the Supreme Court Guts Affirmative Action in Higher Education