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OFCCP & Government Contractors 2017: Effective Approaches to Compliance and Audits

Speaker(s): Christopher B. Wilkinson, David Cohen, David S. Fortney, Gary R. Siniscalco, Jeanne M. Mathews, Robert O'Hara, Shafeeqa W. Giarratani
Recorded on: Feb. 1, 2017
PLI Program #: 185557

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. 

Chris Wilkinson’s practice focuses on policy, regulatory and enforcement matters facing employers in their interactions with the government.  As a former senior executive in the United States Department of Labor, Chris assists employers in labor and employment, Pay Equity, health and safety, government relations and administrative law matters.

Chris most recently served as Associate Solicitor in the Department of Labor. In that role, Chris was a senior legal advisor to the Solicitor of Labor and served as the 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 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, ERISA enforcement and Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower matters.

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

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.

Gary Siniscalco, Senior Counsel and Co-Chair of the EEO & OFCCP Compliance Group, has significant experience advising clients on complex employment litigation and advisory matters. He has particular experience in counseling and litigation defense for clients on equal opportunity, affirmative action (OFCCP) compliance, wrongful discharge, wage-and-hour matters and in working with companies on cross-border employment issues.

Gary has handled numerous class actions, pattern and practice cases and government audits, in court and before the EEOC and Department of Labor. He brings a particularly unique perspective to clients on matters involving the EEOC, having served as regional counsel and senior trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco prior to joining Orrick.

Gary also has an extensive class actions practice, focusing on litigation, consent decree strategies and preventive advice. He has been designated as an expert or retained as special counsel in several federal court class actions throughout the United States.

Gary’s counseling practice extends beyond the United States and includes assisting U.S. multinational companies in dealing with complex employee issues in foreign jurisdictions

Gary has written numerous articles on employment law. Most recently, he is Management Editor-in-Chief of a two-volume treatise--Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law: An International Survey (BNA, 2010). Gary is co-author of “The Pay Gap, the Class Ceiling, and Pay Bias: Moving Forward Fifty Years After the Equal Pay Act”, ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol 29, November 3 (Spring 2014), and “The Law of Employment Discrimination from 1985-2010,” ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Spring 2010).

Gary is widely recognized as one the top management employment lawyers in the United States by every major ranking organization, including Chambers USA, the National Law Journal, Best of the Best USA (Euromoney), and Who’s Who Legal. Among management employment lawyers in the United States and Europe, Gary is ranked in the top 10 of Who’s Who international management labor and employment lawyers and is described as “absolutely superb.”

Gary also serves regularly on the NYU faculty for training federal judges on employment law, the OFCCP Institute, PLI International Employment Law and ABA Labor and Employment Law Section programs.

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 work-place related matters, including pay equity, employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, international dispute resolution and counseling matters, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises.  Fortney & Scott, LLC has been recognized, both locally and nationally, as a leading management employment law firm in the prestigious Best Law Firms survey for 2011-2019 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers for Washington, D.C.

Mr. Fortney has a broad-based practice representing and counseling employers and executives in employment and labor matters, including equal employment opportunity requirements, wage and hour matters, federal contractor's affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining, workplace health and safety, and pension and welfare benefits. He brings experience from the public and private sectors in advising clients on these issues, and he frequently represents clients before the U.S. Department of Labor's agencies, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Fortney previously served as the Deputy and Acting Solicitor of Labor (chief legal officer) at the U.S. Department of Labor where he represented all DOL agencies.  Mr. Fortney's also has experience in litigation as well as in designing and implementing Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures to help resolve employment claims in an efficient and fair manner.

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.; Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers; and Super Lawyers.  Mr. Fortney also has an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.

David Fortney can be contacted by email ( or telephone (+1.202.689.1200).  Additional information is available at


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.