Government Contractors

transgender1600Yesterday, February 22, 2017, the Trump Administration rescinded Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) guidance that had been issued to schools on May 13, 2016 in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter.  The letter stated that it was the DOJ’s and DOE’s interpretation of Title IX (the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education) that schools must allow transgender students to use the gender-specific bathroom with which they identify and that schools could not force students to use bathrooms based on their biological sex.  The DOJ and DOE stated that schools that did not follow the guidance could risk losing federal funding.
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As those companies who are required to submit an EEO-1 form know, the extended deadline for the annual submission this year (2015) is coming up soon – October 30 (Normally it’s September 30 each year). Generally speaking, covered employers must report on the form, by establishment/company totals and job group (e.g. first level officials and managers, professionals, administrative support employees, etc.), the number of employees by sex and race or ethnic category. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires most private employers with 100 or more employees to submit the EEO-1 form, while the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires most government contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in federal contracts to submit this form.

Originally on the EEO-1 form, multi-racial employees had to be designated a single racial or ethnic category. For example, an individual who had a Black father and a White mother would have to be identified as solely White or solely Black. In 2005, however, the EEO-1 form was revised to include new racial and ethnic categories, including “Two or More Races.” This change was entirely appropriate in our increasingly multi-racial society, and permitted a more accurate reflection of the racial makeup of a company’s workplace.

But what about sex? There has been a lot of recent media attention to gender identity issues (in case you’ve been living in a cave) – and the choice of gender identity is apparently far broader than I could have possible imagined. As Slate reported, in July, Facebook began allowing its users to self-identify as other than just “male” or “female.” In fact, Slate counted 56 options!!! (Whaaaaat?!!!  Naïve me.) Many of these terms were ones that I had never heard of before – agender/neutrois, gender questioning, intersex, non-binary, pangender, two-spirit….


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On Labor Day 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order that requires certain government contractors and subcontractors to provide up to 7 days of paid sick leave per year. This leave may be used for illness or injury; medical appointments or treatment; caring for an injured or ill family member, or obtaining medical treatment for

Contractors are still reeling from the many executive orders coming from President Obama in the last year or so, including raising the minimum wage for federal contract employees to $10.10, requiring contractors to disclose labor law violations, demanding pay transparency and the reporting of compensation, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender

On July 31, 2014, the President issued an Executive Order entitled, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” which will make an employer’s record of compliance with federal and state labor laws a criterion for successful bidding on government contracts and subcontracts exceeding $500,000.  In a Fact Sheet accompanying the Executive Order, the White House