Yesterday, for the first time in more than 40 years, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued updated sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. The regulations go into effect 60 days following their issue date, on August 15, 2016. The regulations apply to all businesses that have more than $10,000 in federal contracts or subcontracts over a 12 month period, and it is estimated that these rules will apply to more than 500,000 businesses nationwide.
According to the OFCCP, 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 regulations require that federal contractors provide pregnancy-related accommodations, equal access to jobs and workforce development opportunities, prevent sexual harassment and protect transgender workers access to bathrooms. The rule also includes “suggested practices” to ensure a discrimination-free workplace, but these suggestions are not binding on federal contractors.