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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OFCCP News Release: [09/24/2010]
Contact Name: Jesse Lawder Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4659 or x3984
Release Number: 10-1341-NAT

Statement by US Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on the 45th anniversary of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 11246, creating what eventually became the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs:

"Six months after brave men and women crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and just six weeks after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, the march to redeem America's promise took another important step forward. Asserting that civil rights laws alone were not enough to remedy discrimination, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 on Sept. 24, 1965.

"This landmark order, which created the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, requires those who do business with the U.S. government — both contractors and subcontractors — to ensure equal opportunity for all job seekers and wage earners.

"OFCCP's legal authority has since been expanded by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws hold federal contractors to the very reasonable standard that they must not discriminate in their employment practices on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

"Nearly one in four American workers is employed by a company that receives taxpayer dollars for contracted work. That's more than 200,000 companies with contracts totaling over $700 billion. And it is the duty of OFCCP to see that those tax dollars are not used to discriminate. That helps ensure a fundamental fairness and levels the playing field for America's workers.

"So, today, I congratulate the nearly 800 OFCCP staff in offices across the nation as they mark 45 years of protecting workers, promoting diversity and enforcing the law. Their work ensures good jobs are within the grasp of everyone, and it makes America a more just — and better — place to work and live."