FortneyScott Client Alert: OFCCP Issues First Set of FAQs on EO on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping and Questions Affirmative Action Initiatives for African Americans
On October 7, 2020 OFCCP issued the first FAQs under the recent Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (EO 13950). While the FAQs provide limited new insights, the following FAQ is informative:

Does Executive Order 13950 prohibit unconscious bias or implicit bias training?

  • Unconscious or implicit bias training is prohibited to the extent it teaches or implies that an individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex, and/or national origin, is racist, sexist, oppressive, or biased, whether consciously or unconsciously.

  • Training is not prohibited if it is designed to inform workers, or foster discussion, about pre-conceptions, opinions, or stereotypes that people - regardless of their race or sex - may have regarding people who are different, which could influence a worker’s conduct or speech and be perceived by others as offensive.

FortneyScott is working with clients to submit additional questions for the Agency to include in future FAQs. Let us know if you have further input.

In addition, according to published reports OFCCP Director Craig Leen on September 29, 2020 sent letters to certain federal contractors, including Microsoft and Wells Fargo, questioning whether the companies’ affirmative action commitments to hire more black employees violated federal discrimination laws.

FortneyScott strongly recommends that federal contractors have legal counsel review their Diversity, Equality and Inclusion training and affirmative action programs to ensure the training and affirmative action programs do not violate the new EO and OFCCP’s current enforcement protocols.

Reach out to your FS attorney for more information on the EO and its enforcement.
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This update is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel or advice. Employers should retain experienced legal counsel to obtain advice about the effects of these developments on their particular circumstances.