Connie Bertram

Connie Bertram

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Latest Publications


Divided Sixth Circuit Dismisses Compliance Officer’s FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a former compliance officer’s whistleblower retaliation claim because she did not establish that she had an objectively reasonable belief that she was...more

11/10/2015 - False Claims Act (FCA) Kickbacks Protected Activity Retaliation Whistleblowers

OFCCP Submits Final Sex Discrimination Regulations to OMB for Review and Approval

Earlier this year, we reported that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) issued a proposed rule to revise and replace the sex discrimination guidance it issued in 1970 and clarify federal contractors’...more

11/2/2015 - Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Equal Opportunities Equal Pay Family Status Discrimination Federal Contractors Final Rules Gender Discrimination Gender Identity Gender-Based Pay Discrimination OFCCP OMB Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Sex Discrimination Sexual Harassment

DOL ALJ Orders Government Contractor To Produce Documents To OFCCP

On October 23, 2015, a Department of Labor (“DOL”) administrative law judge (“ALJ”) ordered a government contractor, Convergys Customer Management Group, Inc. (“Convergys”), to submit its affirmative action program along with...more

11/2/2015 - Administrative Review Board Affirmative Action Audits DOL Federal Contractors Fourth Amendment OFCCP Scheduling Letters Subpoenas

U.S. Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule Implementing Pay Transparency Executive Order

On September 10, 2015, the Department of Labor issued its final rule, implementing Executive Order 13665  (the “Order”), which prohibits federal contractors from firing or otherwise disciplining employees or job applicants...more

9/11/2015 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Discrimination DOL Employee Handbooks Employee Rights Executive Orders Federal Contractors Final Rules Job Applicants OFCCP Pay Secrecy Popular Subcontractors Transparency Wage and Hour

BREAKING: Obama Administration Issues Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors To Provide Employees Paid Sick Leave

On September 7, 2015, the President issued the Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Executive Order (the “Order”) requiring federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours (7 days) of paid sick leave per year to...more

9/9/2015 - Accrual Requirements Anti-Retaliation Provisions Barack Obama Davis-Bacon Act DOL Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Executive Orders Federal Contractors FLSA Medical Certification Requests Paid Leave Service Contract Act Sick Leave Subcontractors

The American Bar Association Joins Growing Chorus Of Groups Raising Concerns About Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Regulations

On August 26, 2015, the Section of Public Contract Law of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) submitted public comments to the General Services Administration (“GSA”) and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) on their...more

9/1/2015 - American Bar Association (ABA) DOL Draft Guidance Executive Orders Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Federal Acquisition Regulations Federal Contractors GSA Notice and Comment Proposed Regulation Reporting Requirements Rulemaking Process

Internal Investigation Documents Are Protected from Disclosure in False Claims Act Case, D.C. Circuit Holds

Reversing a lower court decision, the D.C. Circuit recently concluded – for a second time – that certain internal audit documents are protected from disclosure by the attorney-client communication and work production...more

8/24/2015 - Attorney-Client Privilege Disclosure Discovery False Claims Act (FCA) Internal Investigations SCOTUS Whistleblowers Work Product Privilege Writ of Mandamus

BREAKING: Obama Administration Considering Executive Order Requiring Federal Contractors To Provide Employees Paid Sick Leave

According to a report in the New York Times, the White House is currently considering an Executive Order (“EO”) requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. According to the report, the...more

8/7/2015 - Accrued Benefits Anti-Retaliation Provisions Carryover Basis Davis-Bacon Act Earned Sick Time Executive Orders Federal Contractors Obama Administration Paid Leave Sick Leave Subcontractors

For The Second Time, DOL And FAR Council Extend Notice and Comment Period For Guidance And Regulations Implementing The Fair Pay...

On August 5, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published an announcement in the Federal Register informing the public that both it and the FAR Council have extended the notice and comment period for the proposed...more

8/5/2015 - DOL Draft Guidance Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces FAR Federal Contractors Federal Register Notice and Comment Proposed Regulation Time Extensions

OFCCP Publishes New Outreach and Education Poster

On August 3, 2015, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) published a new poster. According to OFCCP, the Outreach and Education poster is the result of “feedback received during stakeholder listening...more

8/4/2015 - Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Equal Pay Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Federal Contractors OFCCP Transparency

Members of Congress Request Withdrawal Of Proposed Guidance And Regulations For Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order

On July 15, 2015, eight members of Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the Administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, requesting that the proposed guidance and regulations for the Fair...more

7/21/2015 - Comment Period DOL Executive Orders Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces FAR Federal Procurement Systems New Guidance Proposed Regulation Secretary of Labor Suspensions & Debarments

OFCCP Seeks Final Approval Of Its Pay Transparency Regulations From OMB

OFCCP recently sent its proposed final regulations implementing Executive Order 13665 (the “Order”) to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for final approval. The Order, among other things, mandates that federal...more

7/17/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Compensation & Benefits Compensation Agreements Confidentiality Agreements Disclosure Requirements DOL Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract Executive Orders Government Contractors OFCCP OMB Transparency Wage and Hour

DOL And FAR Council Extend Notice and Comment Period For Guidance And Regulations Implementing The Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces...

On July 14, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that both it and the FAR Council have extended the notice and comment period for the proposed guidance and regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe...more

7/17/2015 - Comment Period DOL Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces FAR Government Agencies Government Contractors Labor Law Violations New Guidance Notice and Comment Proposed Regulation

DOL Files Discrimination Suit Against Baltimore-Based Federal Contractor

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has filed a lawsuit before the Office of Administrative Law Judges against WMS Solutions LLC (“WMS”) alleging violations of...more

7/10/2015 - Back Pay Citizenship Status Discrimination Discrimination DOL Executive Orders Gender Discrimination Harassment Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Job Offers OFCCP Race Discrimination Wages

Self-Help Discovery Does Not Immunize Employee from Prosecution, Says NJ Supreme Court

On June 23, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation, 204 N.J. 239 (2010), does not bar criminal prosecutions arising from an employee’s removal of confidential company documents to...more

6/25/2015 - Confidential Documents Confidential Information Criminal Prosecution Discovery Discrimination Employee Rights Employment Discrimination Indictments NJ Supreme Court Theft

Proposed Guidance and Regulations For The Fair Pay And Safe Workplaces Executive Order Released Yesterday

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a press release announcing the publication for notice and comment of its proposed guidance and the FAR Council’s proposed regulations regarding the Fair Pay and Safe...more

5/29/2015 - Administrative Merits Determinations Barack Obama DOL Executive Orders Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Federal Contractors New Guidance Reporting Requirements Suspensions & Debarments Wage and Hour

House Passes Veteran Preference Bill

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill, titled the Boosting Rates of American Veteran Employment Act or “BRAVE Act.” The BRAVE Act authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to...more

5/22/2015 - Federal Contractors New Legislation Public Procurement Policies Veterans

Senators Push For President Obama To Issue Executive Order Providing Federal Contractor Preference To “Model Employers”

On May 15, 2015, a group of Democratic Senators sent a letter (available here) to President Obama, urging him to provide incentives to federal contractors to become what they call “model employers.” According to the letter,...more

5/20/2015 - Barack Obama Federal Contractors Legislative Agendas Preferences

OFCCP Announces Lower National Veterans Benchmark And Updated Benchmark Database

As government contractors are aware, since March 24, 2014 OFCCP’s regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) have required contractors to establish annual benchmarks for protected...more

5/7/2015 - Benchmarks Federal Contractors OFCCP Veterans VEVRAA

Proskauer Participates With Head of SEC Whistleblower Program in 4/22/15 Webinar

Proskauer Partner Connie N. Bertram, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice, participated in a webinar last week with Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. The webinar, sponsored by the...more

4/29/2015 - SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Confidentiality Agreements of Federal Contractor Employees – Changes To The Federal Acquisition Regulations Are Coming Soon

Confidentiality agreements for employees of federal contractors are increasingly coming under scrutiny by federal agencies. In late 2014, as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (the “Act”),...more

4/22/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements DFAR DOD FAR Federal Contractors Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

The New OFCCP Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Protections Are Now In Effect

Yesterday, Executive Order (“EO”) 11246, as amended by EO 13762, officially went into effect, representing the first time in the federal sector that sexual orientation and gender identity have been expressly protected. On...more

4/10/2015 - Barack Obama Discrimination EEO Executive Orders FAR Federal Contractors Gender Identity OFCCP Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Virginia Governor’s Order “Encourages” Private Employers to “Ban the Box”

Last week, Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe signed an executive order “banning the box” on most state employment applications and “encouraging” private employers and government contractors to do the same. “Ban the box”...more

4/7/2015 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks EEOC Hiring & Firing

SEC Announces Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreement

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of an enforcement action under the SEC’s Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any action to impede an individual from...more

4/7/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Enforcement Actions Internal Investigations KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) Rule 21F SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

President Obama Urged to “Ban the Box” for Federal Contractors

In a letter this past week, nearly 200 interest groups urged President Obama to issue an executive order “banning the box” for federal contractors and to implement other “fair chance” hiring reforms protecting ex-offenders....more

4/1/2015 - Ban the Box Barack Obama Contractors Criminal Background Checks Federal Contractors Hiring & Firing Legislative Agendas OFCCP

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