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Judge: govt. regulation can't be unreasonable, without limits

"[S]ome precedent to push back."

That is truly what many companies across the country hope for as they deal in their capacity as federal contractors with production and related compliance demands from agencies with oversight and enforcement power over government contracts.

The author of the above comment is a commentator on a recently concluded legal case involving a spat between the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Google. Her remark issues in the wake of a ruling pronounced by an administrative law judge that rebuked the OFCCP and will likely buoy the spirits of many company executives doing business with the federal government

Here's why: the judge sided with Google after the company came to a point where it simply refused to comply any more with incessant and open-ended demands from the OFCCP to provide company data and personal information on employees that was ostensibly related to its government contract.

Patently, that wasn't the case, the ALJ ruled, finding that the OFCCP's never-ending production demands were flatly unreasonable and materially misaligned with the essentials of the contract itself.

In his ruling last month, the judge noted that the government's demands "far exceed all of Google's gross revenue under the contract." Reportedly, Google would have had to spend about $1 million to comply regarding a contract pursuant to which it received only $600,000.

And that would have been patently unfair, the ALJ noted.

Another case commentator noted in the wake of the ruling that company contractors working with the federal government should feel empowered by the Google case. Although they will still have to comply with information requests from the OFCCP early on, those requests can't be uncontained and misaligned with the contract at issue, nor extend indefinitely into the future.

The case "should provide a comfort level for contractors who may have been feeling bullied by the OFCCP," she says.

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