New Sex Discrimination Regs Published

By Brooke Colaizzi

Today the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published its final rule to update its Sex Discrimination Guidelines, expressing its intent to bring the outdated 1970 guidance in line with existing law.

The regulations focus on five main sex discrimination issues in the workplace: sex-based occupational segregations, wage disparities, pregnancy or family caregiving discrimination, sex-based stereotyping, and sexual harassment. The new regulations significantly reorganize the old Guidelines and include relatively new developments under Title VII or EEOC interpretations, including prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and transgender status and requiring light duty or accommodations to pregnant employees seeking to avoid certain work conditions to prevent pregnancy complications.

Although many employers will disagree, the OFCCP views the new regulations as merely updating its enforcement practices to conform with existing Title VII law, rather than creating new obligations for federal contractors.

The regulations become effective in 60 days.