On June 14, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced publication of a Final Rule in the Federal Register that sets forth the requirements that covered contractors must meet under the provisions of Executive Order 11246 prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. This Final Rule updates sex discrimination guidelines from 1970 with new regulations that align with current law and address the realities of today’s workplaces. The Final Rule deals with a variety of sex–based barriers to equal employment and fair pay, including compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, failure to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant workers, and gender identity and family caregiving discrimination.
The Final Rule addresses the following subjects:
- Brings the sex discrimination guidelines up to date. The Final Rule aligns OFCCP’s regulations with current law and addresses the realities of today’s workplaces. It, therefore, provides more accurate and relevant guidance to contractors than the outdated guidelines.
- Provides protections related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. The Final Rule protects employees against discriminatory treatment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, including loss of jobs, wages, or health care coverage. The Final Rule requires that contractors provide workplace accommodations, such as extra bathroom breaks and light-duty assignments, to an employee who needs such accommodations because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, in certain circumstances where those contractors provide comparable accommodations to other workers, such as those with disabilities or occupational injuries.