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OFCCP & Government Contractors 2016: Effective Approaches to Compliance and Audits


Speaker(s): Chekisha A. Mitchell, Christopher B. Wilkinson, David Cohen, David S. Fortney, Diana S. Sen, Jeanne M. Mathews, Patricia A. Shiu, Robert O'Hara, Shafeeqa W. Giarratani
Recorded on: Feb. 3, 2016
PLI Program #: 150287

Christopher Wilkinson maintains a broad practice in labor and employment, Equal Pay, health and safety, government relations and administrative law.

Chris most recently served as Associate Solicitor for Civil Rights and Labor-Management. In that role, Chris was the senior career civil rights and labor management lawyer for the Department of Labor providing advice on regulatory, policy and enforcement matters for seven DOL agencies including the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Civil Rights Center and Office of Labor Management Standards.

Chris counseled the Department on a broad array of equal employment opportunity regulatory and policy initiatives and advised on a wide range of constitutional and statutory matters in federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to EEO matters, Chris led the Solicitor Office’s union election and reporting enforcement work, counseled on transit labor certification matters and advised on appellate matters related to labor union practices.

Chris also has significant litigation experience having served as trial attorney and then Counsel for Civil Rights Programs in the Department’s San Francisco region. In those roles, he litigated a number of complex class wage-and-hour, class discrimination, health and safety citations, and Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower matters.

Chris is an active member of the America Bar Association, having presented on numerous federal contractor compliance, LGBT and compensation discrimination topics at the ABA Conference on Equal Employment Law.


Jeanne graduated from Boston University School of Law and has held various positions with GE in the areas of labor, employment and benefits law for 20+ years.  She also did a cross-functional assignment as an HR generalist in GE Corporate Human Resources. 

In her current position as Executive Counsel-Labor & Employment Law, Jeanne provides advice and counsel to HR managers and lawyers across GE in all areas of employment law, with particular specialties in ADA, FMLA/other leave laws, OFCCP compliance, pay equity and discrimination/harassment.  She is also the L&E lawyer supporting GE Global Operations’ HR Client Managers in the U.S.

She is a member of the Advisory Board to the American Employment Law Council.  She served as Chair of the EEAC Board of Directors (now the Center for Workplace Compliance), a non-profit organization in Washington, DC focused primarily on educating its ~285 company members about complying with labor, employment and affirmative action laws.  She currently serves on the Executive Committee and as an officer on the Board of Directors for the McGivney Community Center in Bridgeport, CT.

She is admitted to the bar in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as Authorized In-House Counsel in Connecticut. 


David B. Cohen is the founder and President of DCI Consulting Group, Inc. He provides consulting services to employers and management law firms on a wide range of human resource risk management strategies, particularly in the areas of EEO/affirmative action program development, systemic compensation statistical analyses, comprehensive human resources self-audits, and employee selection and test validation.

In addition, Mr. Cohen is the Senior Vice President for The Center for Corporate Equality and co-founder of The OFCCP Institute, a national nonprofit employer association that trains and educates federal contractors in understanding and complying with their affirmative action and equal employment obligations.

Recognized as a national EEO and affirmative action compliance expert, Mr. Cohen speaks frequently before corporate leaders from Fortune 500 companies, and at regional and national ILG conferences and OFCCP events. In 2006, he co-authored a book entitled “Understanding Statistics: A Guide for I/O Psychologists and Human Resource Professionals,” which was published by Wadsworth. Mr. Cohen is also the Associate Editor of the Applied HRM Research.

He also created DCI’s HR Equator™salary equity software, which enables companies to conduct systemic and other compensation analyses to comply with OFCCP and EEOC requirements.

Mr. Cohen has a M.S. degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Radford University and B.A. degree in Psychology from West Virginia University. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Baltimore County at Shady Grove.


Diana Sen is the Regional Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Northeast Region.  In this capacity she leads the agency's enforcement and outreach efforts in the Northeast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  She is based in New York City. 

Diana is an experienced and highly skilled civil rights lawyer who has spent her career advocating for the most vulnerable populations in our country. She comes to OFCCP with significant experience in government, non-profit and private sector work.

Previously, Diana served as Senior Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund) where she litigated major civil rights cases in the southeastern United States.  Prior to joining LatinoJustice, Diana worked as an attorney at the international law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in New York City for six years, specializing in general commercial and white collar litigation. The firm sponsored Diana for a two-year fellowship with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she helped establish the organization’s Atlanta office.  She is a Past National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association.  Diana is also serving her fourth year as Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of New York State Bar Association.

Diana received her J.D. from Emory Law School and her BA and MA in Political Science/International Relations from the University of Florida.


Robert O'Hara is the Director of Employment Law & Global HR Compliance at United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in Connecticut. 

Bob has functional responsibility for all employment-related cases at UTC and is responsible for Global Human Resource Compliance for 200,000 employees operating in 162 countries.

Bob leads the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action processes at UTC and maintains close working relationships with the Legal and Global Compliance functions while playing a significant role in the broader enterprise-wide risk management and compliance function.

Bob joined UTC in 2001 in the UTC division of Pratt & Whitney as an Assistant Counsel and was promoted to Director of EEO & Employment at UTC Corporate in 2006.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Bob spent 13 years at the National Security Agency in a number of intelligence positions, including more than two years in the White House as the chief intelligence analyst on the National Security Council, as well as assignments in the Pentagon supporting the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the US Treasury Department. 

Upon earning his law degree, he joined Day, Berry & Howard (now Day Pitney) in Hartford, Connecticut as a Trial Attorney in their Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy practice.

Bob has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English from Walsh University, North Canton, Ohio, a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center both in Washington, DC.

Bob is also currently the Chair of the Equal Employment Advisory Council, in Washington, DC, the premier organization representing the interests of more than 250 of the largest US Federal Contactors in the nation’s capital.


Shafeeqa Giarratani is managing shareholder of the Austin office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.  She represents employers in federal and state court and before administrative agencies and regulatory agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Shafeeqa has been recognized both locally and nationally as a skilled advocate. Shafeeqa was named by Law 360 as a 2016 Rising Star, one of only seven employment lawyers in the country to receive such a distinction. Shafeeqa has also been named repeatedly as a Super Lawyer–Texas Rising Star and was featured in Bloomberg BNA for her commitment to her clients.

She is a strong advocate for her clients.  She regularly represents clients in litigation matters at both the trial and appellate level, in alternative dispute resolution, and before governmental agencies. Shafeeqa has represented management in civil rights, wrongful discharge, Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, employment tort, defamation, breach of contract, tortious interference and other employment-related charges and litigation.

Shafeeqa specializes in advising clients on whistleblower employment issues, in particular retaliation cases under the False Claims Act, and performs in-depth workplace investigations of all types.

Shafeeqa regularly advises clients on affirmative action, legislative and regulatory changes affecting employment matters for federal contractors and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) compliance issues, from developing affirmative action plans to representing companies during the audit process.

Shafeeqa also performs supervisory training seminars, prepares and reviews personnel handbooks and policies, and advises clients regarding employee retention and termination.


Patricia A. Shiu serves as the Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. She leads a staff of 650 men and women around the country who are dedicated to protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing the law.

Established in 1965 by Executive Order 11246, OFCCP is responsible for enforcing this EO, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran by federal contractors and subcontractors. On July 21, 2014, President Obama amended EO 11246 to prohibit discrimination for inquiring about, discussing or disclosing employee compensation.  Federal contractors and subcontractors are also required to implement affirmative action.

Director Shiu serves on the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force which has been charged by President Obama with enforcing violations of wage-based compensation discrimination and fulfilling, once and for all, the promise of fair pay. She also represents the Secretary of Labor on the federal Interagency Working Group of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Shiu served as Vice President for Programs at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center in San Francisco. She represented workers in both individual and class action employment discrimination and harassment cases involving sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, immigration status, disability, and domestic violence.

As the Director of the Legal Aid Society’s Work and Family Project, Ms. Shiu advocated for the passage of California’s Family Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and California’s Paid Leave Law. Ms. Shiu litigated wage and hour, work and family, and reproductive health hazard cases. She also litigated class action educational access cases for students under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act and disability laws.

Ms. Shiu began her legal career as an associate with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco. She served as President of California Women Lawyers in 1987 and Vice President of the National Employment Lawyers Association. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Joe Morozumi Lifetime Achievement Award, the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Award, and the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area’s “Woman Warrior Award.” Most recently, the Williams Institute awarded Director Shiu its 2015 “Women in Leadership Award.”  Ms. Shiu is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law.


Ms. Mitchell is Senior Counsel at The Boeing Company and a member of the Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits Group at Boeing’s Corporate Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.   She provides legal advice and counsel to various business units, subsidiaries, and organizations, including, but not limited to, Compensation, Corporate Human Resources, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Office of Internal Governance, and Global Staffing.  Her practice includes Title VII, ADEA, ADAAA, FLSA, FMLA, Executive Order 11246, and various other federal and state employment laws.  In addition, she supports Human Resources for Boeing’s Canada and Latin America operations.  She also manages single-plaintiff employment and benefits litigation and conducts internal employment law training for management and HR professionals.

Prior to joining Boeing in 2005, Ms. Mitchell practiced employment law and general litigation with the law firms of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Mclean, Virginia and Piper Rudnick in Chicago, Illinois.  Ms. Mitchell attended the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she earned a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and her J.D.  She is licensed to practice in Illinois, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.


Mr. Fortney is a co-founder of Fortney & Scott LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, counseling and advising clients on the full spectrum of workplace-related matters, including employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, executive employment and compensation, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises. Mr. Fortney has a broad-based practice representing and counseling employers in employment and labor matters, including wage and hour matters, government enforcement agencies’ audits and regulatory matters, judicial proceedings, Equal Employment Opportunity requirements, federal contractor's affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining and union organizing, and workplace health and safety. Mr. Fortney is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; he co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Federal Legislative Development Committee; and, he is a frequent lecturer at professional conferences. Fortney & Scott, LLC has been both locally and nationally recognized as a leading management employment law firm in the prestigious Best Law Firms survey for 2011-2017 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Mr. Fortney’s wage and hour practice includes counseling clients with respect to policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the minimum wage and overtime obligations under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws, including the proper classification of positions as exempt or non-exempt, overtime practices for non-exempt employees, compensation practices for exempt employees, and time and record keeping procedures; conducting preventive compliance audits; and advising and representing clients facing audits by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Additionally, Mr. Fortney established and co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s nationally acclaimed annual wage and hour seminar in New York, and has been doing so since 2010.

Before co-founding the firm, Mr. Fortney previously served as the chief legal officer of the U. S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. during President George H. W. Bush Administration. As Acting Solicitor of Labor, he was responsible for enforcing over 140 laws regulating the nation's workplaces and managing an agency with 800 attorneys and support staff. He advised Secretaries of Labor Elizabeth Dole and Lynn Martin and the Department of Labor agencies on a broad range of legal, policy, legislative, regulatory, and enforcement issues. The major Department of Labor agencies Mr. Fortney represented included the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), among others.

Mr. Fortney has been widely recognized for his professional accomplishments, including being named one of the leading employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by the Chambers USA survey of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in all years from 2005 through present. He was selected for inclusion in the 2009 through present editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Washington D.C.’s, Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers. Mr. Fortney also has an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Fortney is a frequent lecturer and writer on employment-related topics, including appearances on CNN, CBS and Fox News. Mr. Fortney is the co-editor of a monthly newsletter, the Federal Employment Law Insider, Chapter Eight of The Family and Medical Leave Act (2006) published by BNA Books, co-author of the Military Leave Compliance Kit (2001), published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, and lead author of the Guide to Employee Leave (1997), published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont. Mr. Fortney received his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.