- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Oct. 22 requested comments, information and materials from the public related to workplace training that involves "race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating."
- The Request for Information (RFI) notes that Executive Order 13950, issued Sept. 22, "established that it is the policy of the United States not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services," and that "Federal contractors will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees" through workplace training.
- The RFI is required by the order; Trump instructed OFCCP to request information from contractors and subcontractors and their employees regarding the trainings that have been provided, including "copies of any training, workshop, or similar programing having to do with diversity and inclusion as well as information about the duration, frequency, and expense of such activities," according to the RFI. Stakeholders may comment through Dec. 1.
OFCCP enforces laws that make it illegal for federal contractors and subcontractors to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.
Trump’s executive order barred federal contractors from conducting diversity and inclusion training that includes "divisive" components such as white males being asked to acknowledge "privilege." The EO expanded on a directive from Trump earlier that month ending diversity training for federal agencies that refer to white privilege, among other things. The sessions train "government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda," according to a two-page Sept. 4 memo from the White House. Trump also criticized such training in his Sept. 29 presidential debate, saying that it represents "a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place." OFCCP then published guidance implementing the order.
However, while diversity training is being restructured at the federal level, a January report by Gartner, pointing to succession planning, noted that experts in the private sector have said that a focus on diversity and inclusion is essential for the future of U.S. businesses. "Organizations have realized that a homogeneous succession pipeline poses significant risks to the bottom line," Gartner said.
Creativity is one advantage of workplace diversity and inclusion policies and practices, experts say. Anita Ward, chief development officer at Salary Finance, recently told HR Dive that within the past five years, many CEOs realized that diverse teams and boards were yielding better results and that "there's actually an ROI."
That's why it might not yet be time for contractors to abandon D&I programs, some say. Marilyn Fish, partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, previously told HR Dive that contractors should continue with scheduled D&I training programs but that "it's probably wise" to examine the concepts explored in such programs to determine whether they violate the executive order.