The OFCCP announced the publication of an NPRM on January 28th, 2015, aimed at revising and replacing its current Sex Discrimination Guidelines. These revisions will rescind procedures that have remained unchanged for over four decades to reflect a more accurate portrayal of current day organizational profiles. This NPRM updates guidelines on a wide variety of issues ranging from compensation discrimination to gender identity and family care giving discrimination.
What are the key pieces of this NPRM that will affect the Federal Contracting Community?
The items listed below were highlighted in the NPRM’s Factsheet. Additional information on this NPRM can be viewed through the provided link: http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/SDNPRM/index.html.
- Clarify that adverse treatment of an employee because of gender-stereotype assumptions relating to family caretaking responsibilities is discrimination.
- Clarify that leave for childcare must be available to men on the same basis that it is available to women.
- Confirm that contractors must provide a variety of workplace accommodations, ranging from extra bathroom breaks to light-duty assignments, to women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions comparable to the accommodations that contractors provide to other workers similar in their ability or inability to work, such as employees with disabilities or occupational injuries.
- Clarify that unlawful compensation discrimination can result from job segregation or classification on the basis of gender, not just unequal pay for equal work.
- Confirm that contractors must provide equal benefits and equal contributions for male and female employees participating in fringe-benefit plans.
- Address both quid pro quo and hostile-environment sexual harassment, and identify as a best practice that contractors develop and implement procedures to ensure an environment in which all employees feel safe and welcomed, are treated fairly, and are not harassed because of sex.
- Clarify that adverse treatment of employees because they do not conform to gender norms and expectations about their appearance, attire, or behavior, is unlawful sex discrimination.
- Clarify that discrimination against an individual because of her or his gender identity is unlawful sex discrimination.
- Change the “Sex Discrimination Guidelines” to regulations about “Discrimination on the Basis of Sex” to make clear that they have the force and effect of law.
This NPRM is scheduled to be published in the Federal Registrar on January 30th, 2015; public comment period will close on 3/31/2015.