This January the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released proposed updates for regulations on sex discrimination for federal government contractors and subcontractors. The updated guideline aims to align with changes in the law and the workplace that have taken place since the guidelines were last revised.
The OFCCP hadn’t substantively updated its Sex Discrimination Guidelines since their original adoption in 1970, resulting in a set of guidelines that was confusing and difficult to apply to the modern workplace.
Some of the shortfalls of the old guidelines include: failure to address the full range of discriminatory wage practices; failure to address accommodations for workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; and failure do address sex-based stereotyping related to caregiving.
The OFCCP factsheet addressing the proposed guidelines highlights some of the changes, and indicates the proposed rule would:Clarify that leave for childcare must be available to men on the same terms as it is available to women.Confirm that contractors must provide workplace accommodations to women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions comparable to the accommodations that they provide to other workers similar in their ability or inability to work, such as workers with disabilities or occupational injuries.Confirm that contractors must provide equal benefits and equal contributions for male and female employees participating in fringe-benefit plans.Clarify that adverse treatment of employees because they do not conform to gender norms and expectations about appearance, attire, and behavior is unlawful sex discrimination.
For the full fact sheet, follow this link. If you have are a contractor or subcontractor of the Federal Government, and have any further questions regarding these changes, you may want to contact an attorney.