U.S. Department of Labor Launches Hotline to Combat Race and Sex Stereotyping by Federal Contractors
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has established a hotline and email address to receive and investigate complaints under existing Executive Order 11246 as well as Executive Order 13950, “Executive Order Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” issued on Sept. 22, 2020 by the President of the United States. The new OFCCP Complaint Hotline to Combat Race and Sex Stereotyping can be reached at 202-343-2008 or via email at OFCCPComplaintHotline@dol.gov.
Executive Order 13950 was issued “to promote economy and efficiency in Federal contracting to promote unity in the Federal workforce, and to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.” The order enables employees to file complaints alleging that a Federal contractor “is utilizing training programs in violation of the contractor’s obligations under those orders.”
“Federal contractors must not engage in unlawful race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in employment training programs or in employment generally,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig Leen.
While the order is effective immediately, its specific requirements for Federal contractors apply only to those with Federal contracts entered into 60 days after the date of the order, or Nov. 21, 2020. However, training programs prohibited by the new Executive Order may also violate a contractor’s obligations under the existing Executive Order 11246, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing your compensation or the compensation of others. An employee may file a complaint regarding training programs that they believe to be in violation via OFCCP’s website at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ofccp/contact/file-complaint or OFCCP can send them a copy of the complaint form by email or regular mail.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their compensation or the compensation of others subject to certain limitations, and may not retaliate against applicants or employees for engaging in protected activities. These laws also require that federal contractors provide equal employment opportunity through affirmative action. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
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.