March 1, 2021

Volume XI, Number 60

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March 01, 2021

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February 26, 2021

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President Biden Revokes Controversial Executive Order Limiting Contractor Diversity Trainings Shortly After Taking Office

As predicted, just hours after taking office, President Biden revoked the controversial Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping Executive Order (the “Order”) issued by his predecessor in September.  As previously reported, the Order, among other things, required new contracts entered into with the federal government to include a clause prohibiting federal contractors from including certain concepts in diversity and awareness trainings.  The Order included a variety of penalties and sanctions for non-compliance, including debarment.

The Order was controversial from the start.  Many viewed it as an effort to impede unconscious bias and societal privilege trainings that had become more prevalent in the wake of the country’s renewed focus on racial justice and equality.  Lawsuits were filed to stop its enforcement, eventually resulting in one court issuing a preliminary injunction enjoining its enforcement in December.

In a statement issued prior to his inauguration, President Biden called the Order “damaging” and promised that in addition to revoking the Order, he would take “[a]dditional actions in the coming weeks will restore and reinvigorate the federal government’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”

The new President is already making his mark in ways that directly affect the federal government contractor community, and more changes are clearly in store.  For some predictions of what additional actions may be forthcoming, check out my presentation with Dr. Rick Holt of Resolution Economics from earlier this month recapping major OFCCP developments from 2020 and what we believe may be in store for 2021, available here.

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© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 21
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About this Author

Guy Brenner, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Rose, arbitration proceedings Lawyer
Partner

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues,...

202-416-6830
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