Executive Order on Diversity and Inclusion

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), released a FAQ for Executive Order 13950. To clearly illustrate its main idea, the Executive Order began with excerpts from federal training models. Then, it explains how those excepts include racial stereotypes and have no place in current trainings. The order is directly applicable to all government agencies, as well as anyone contracting work with the government, however, these can (and should) be applied to all businesses.

First, the order prohibits the use of any workplace training “that inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex-stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating”. The DOL defines “Race or sex scapegoating” as assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex, because of their race or sex”, and notes that scapegoating specifically includes “any claim that, consciously or unconsciously, and by virtue of their race or sex, members of any race are inherently racist or are inherently inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.”

Examples from the DOL of race or sex stereotyping and scapegoating that are prohibited include any training or concept that:

  • One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
  • An  individual, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist,  or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
  • An  individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of their race or sex;
  • Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
  • An  individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by their race or sex;
  • An  individual, by virtue of their race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  • Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of   psychological distress on account of their race or sex; or
  • Meritocracy or traits such  as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by a particular  race to oppress another race.

It is worth noting that implicit bias training is not implicitly prohibited by this order. Trainings designed for example to inform workers or foster discussions are not prohibited. However, should these trainings extend to teach or imply ideas that fall under the definition of scapegoating, they are prohibited.

Whether this order legally requires you to, or you simply realize your training needs updating, reach out to us for assistance.

Read more on this topic here and here 

Read the DOL FAQ here

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