On October 12, 2020, Scott Hommer was quoted in the New York Times on open questions raised by President Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.
According to the article, the executive order banned the federal government, as well as its contractors, subcontractors, and grantees, from offering certain diversity training on racial and gender biases — teachings that the order called “divisive” and a “malign ideology.” Violation of the executive order by contractors carries the risk of debarment or blacklisting from government contracts, which could put some companies out of business.
The Labor Department rolled out a hotline for tips about noncompliance. The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will also require that federal contractors and subcontractors send in for review the content of diversity and inclusion training programs, as well as their duration and expense.
Legal experts say they have never seen such demands. The executive order’s definition of “divisive concepts” is exceedingly broad, and the meaning of “scapegoating,” which is banned in the order, makes little sense, said Hommer. He added that the requirements in the order may extend to other parts of a company beyond those divisions that contract with the federal government — or they may not.
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