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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Directive Promoting Employment of Military Spouses

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today released a directive renewing its commitment to military spouses. The directive encourages contractors to recruit, hire and retain the spouses of veterans and active duty military.

Directive 2020-01, "Spouses of Protected Veterans," will require OFCCP compliance officers to inquire with federal contractors during onsite investigations about their treatment of veteran spouses. The directive also provides a sample policy statement that federal contractors can incorporate into their employee handbooks promoting the equal employment opportunity of all military spouses.

"Military service usually requires multiple and frequent relocations, often creating an employment history that can add challenges to a spouse's ability to obtain and maintain employment and to achieve career goals," said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig Leen. "While discrimination safeguards for spouses of protected veterans are not new, they can be overlooked. This directive is designed to help change that."

OFCCP's regulations state that it is unlawful for federal contractors to exclude or deny equal jobs or benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against, a qualified individual because that individual is known to have a family, business, social or other relationship or association with a known protected veteran. Earlier this year, OFCCP released Frequently Asked Questions on how the agency protects spouses of protected veterans from discrimination.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. Additionally, contractors must act affirmatively to ensure equal employment opportunity in their employment processes, and they must not discriminate against applicants or employees because they inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
November 8, 2019
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Media Contact: Edwin Nieves
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Media Contact: Simone Walter
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