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On June 14, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), through its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), announced a Final Rule implementing sweeping changes to the OFCCP’s sex discrimination regulations. The regulations, which apply to federal contractors and subcontractors, were initially promulgated to implement the anti-discrimination provisions of Executive Order 11246, and were last updated decades ago. In April 2014, however, President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which amended the previous Executive Order and added protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Final Rule, which implements this amendment and otherwise significantly modifies the OFCCP’s existing anti-discrimination rules as discussed below, takes effect August 15, 2016.

Employers and other sponsors of apprenticeship programs take notice. Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) intended to expand and update regulations concerning the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. Among other things, these proposed regulations would add age (40 or older), genetic information, sexual orientation, and disability to the list of classifications protected under the statute and strengthen related affirmative action requirements.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that an employee can establish a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination if the employee can establish that she belongs to a protected class (i.e., is or was pregnant), she sought an accommodation, and the employer did not accommodate her but the employer accommodated others “similar in their ability or inability to work.”

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