The OFCCP’s Final Rule on sex discrimination will take effect August 15. Are you ready?

On June 14, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued its Final Rule on sex discrimination. These new substantive regulations align with the latest legal developments and interpretations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Cara Crotty, the head of our Affirmative Action/OFCCP Compliance Practice Group, has a great in-depth analysis of the changes, but here is a quick summary:

  • What is the purpose? The OFCCP wanted to update its guidelines and provide specific regulations to ensure that federal contractors do not discriminate against applicants or employees because of their sex.
  • What is the gist of the regulations? In the words of the OFCCP, the Final Rule provides “more accurate and relevant guidance to contractors than the [prior] guidelines,” which the OFCCP describes as “outdated,” and keeps pace with recent changes and legal interpretations regarding sex discrimination.
  • What are the protections provided? The Final Rule prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, and requires contractors to make workplace accommodations based on these conditions. It addresses equal pay and prohibits sex discrimination in pay and fringe benefits. The rule also prohibits sexual harassment, and disparate treatment based on stereotypical assumptions regarding caregiver responsibilities.
  • Does the Final Rule address LGBT status? Yes, to some degree. The rule prohibits discrimination based on sex stereotypes and gender identity. Consistent with guidance issued by the EEOC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the OFCCP requires contractors to allow employees to use restrooms, changing rooms, showers, and similar facilities consistent with the gender with which the employees identify.

The OFCCP’s fact sheet regarding the Final Rule is available here.

Keep your eyes peeled for more OFCCP updates!