Over the past 58 years, OFCCP has helped define and defend equal employment opportunity in the American workplace. The origins of the agency can be traced back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941. Executive Order 8802 was issued to prohibit federal contractors within the defense industry from discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity.

On September 24, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson greatly expanded the federal government’s enforcement of equal employment opportunity by issuing Executive Order 11246, and soon thereafter, the Secretary of Labor established the Office of Federal Contract Compliance. Executive Order 11246, enforced by OFCCP, became a key landmark in a series of federal actions aimed at eradicating discrimination.

Today, Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, and requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to advance equal employment opportunity. Contractors are also prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) to ensure that individuals with disabilities and veterans can fully participate in workplaces that are free from discrimination.

OFCCP conducts neutrally scheduled compliance evaluations to determine whether federal contractors are complying with their legal obligations under Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and VEVRAA. From 2011 through 2023, OFCCP has obtained over $243 million in back pay and interest for more than 284,000 workers and job applicants of federal contractors.

In addition, the agency is committed to providing contractors with compliance assistance so they can meet their obligations. Contractors can find more information about our compliance assistance resources on our website at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp. We also conduct outreach to educate workers and job seekers about their workplace rights.

As we celebrate this anniversary, OFCCP will continue to work diligently to eliminate workplace discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all.


History of Executive Order 11246