Why did the national Office of Apprenticeship (OA) revise its equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations?
OA's existing EEO regulations needed to be modernized to reflect both the realities of today's workforce and the landscape of EEO law that have changed since the last revision in 1978. OA's modernized and streamlined regulations make it easier for sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs to comply with them and to better understand their obligations. We expect that these updates will improve the participation rates of women and other under-represented populations in apprenticeship, who continue to face many barriers to entry and completion. Moreover, it will improve the quality of the applicant pool and thus of the participating apprenticeship programs.
Who is this final rule intended to benefit?
The rule is intended to benefit sponsors, apprentices, applicants for apprenticeship, and the general public. Sponsors will benefit from modernization of a regulation last updated in 1978 that streamlines and clarifies many of the requirements for easier compliance. In addition, by reaching a broader range of applicants, programs will be able to grow and access a deeper well of talent. The rule also allows new program sponsors more time to establish initial affirmative action programs and provides current sponsors with additional time to update their affirmative action programs. Apprentices and applicants, as well as the public, will benefit from increased entry opportunities for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. Additionally, by updating the rule to reflect current law and workplace practices and issues, the rule will improve civil rights enforcement and public understanding of the law.
Who does this final rule apply to?
This rule applies to all sponsors of apprenticeship programs registered either with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship (OA) or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).
Who is an apprentice protected by this final rule?
This rule protects apprentices participating in apprenticeship programs registered either with OA or an SAA, as well as applicants to such programs.