Ondray T. Harris, the director of the Labor Department’s federal contractor auditing office, is stepping down at the end of this week, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg Law.
The reason for Harris’ resignation wasn’t disclosed. He leaves less than eight months after taking the helm of the DOL’s Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs on Dec. 10.
“We wish Ondray continued success and the very best in his future endeavors,” a DOL spokesman told Bloomberg Law, when asked to comment on Harris’ departure.
The OFCCP audits government contractors across a wide range of industries—from technology and finance to manufacturing, construction, and health care—to ensure compliance with workplace affirmative action and nondiscrimination laws. The agency has reached several multimillion-dollar discrimination settlements over the last year with contractors, including
Craig E. Leen will serve as the office’s director on an acting basis, the sources said. The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation. Leen has been an OFCCP senior adviser, but the department updated its website’s personnel page July 25 to refer to Leen as “deputy director.”
Leen, the former city attorney for Coral Gables, Fla., was rumored to be the likely pick for director in November, before Harris was tapped. Harris initially arrived at the Labor Department in June 2017 as a senior adviser in the Employment and Training Administration, before moving to the OFCCP.
Under the leadership of Harris and Leen, the OFCCP has sought to develop a more business-friendly approach when analyzing contractors’ pay practices for potential discrimination.
It also has focused on apprenticeships as a way for contractors to increase their workforce diversity. Additionally, the agency extended a hiatus on auditing hospitals and medical providers that participate in a Defense Department health insurance program.
The sources said they don’t know where Harris will be headed next, and the DOL spokesman didn’t address Bloomberg Law’s question on the reason for his departure.
Harris’ LinkedIn page states that he is interested in “in-house counsel opportunities, where I may utilize my expertise in corporate governance.”
“Ondray Harris’ public service includes an appointment from President Bush’s Department of Justice carrying over to President Obama’s Administration and returning to serve in the Trump Administration’s Department of Labor,” the DOL spokesman added in a prepared statement July 25. “As an attorney dedicated to our nation, Ondray approached his role at the Department of Labor with an attitude of serving wherever there was a need.”
Harris was the deputy chief of employment litigation in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration.
He was slated to deliver a keynote address at next week’s National Industry Liaison Group conference in Anaheim, Calif. The organization is a hub for federal contractor representatives, management attorneys, consultants, and government officials alike. The conference agenda was updated on July 26 to reflect the leadership changes.
According to a July 26 version of the agenda, Leen will be filling Harris’ speaking slots, though his title appears on the agenda as “deputy director.”
(Updated to include information on Leen's upcoming speaking engagements.)