Lawmakers probe contractor hiring rules

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In their letter, the lawmakers are skeptical that the department has the authority to issue its new rules, and argue that it did not provide enough time for the public to study and comment on them.

“I’m disappointed to see the Labor Department make an already flawed regulatory scheme worse,” Walberg said in a statement issued on Friday. “Quotas and more paperwork will do more to promote costly litigation than the hiring of our nation’s most vulnerable workers.”

The twin regulations issued in late August tell contractors to make an extra effort to give more jobs to veterans and people with disabilities. The rules give contractors percentage benchmarks of jobs to fill with the workers and lay out training, recruitment and other requirements to promote equality in the workplace.

Opponents of the new rule say that those requirements are unnecessary and could put companies’ contracts at risk if they do not meet the goals.

In addition to the letter, the legislators also ask for Patricia Shiu, head of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, to testify at an upcoming subcommittee hearing.