On September 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping (the “EO”), prohibiting federal contractors and certain federal grant recipients from holding diversity and EEO training for their workforce that includes “divisive concepts,” such as training employees that the U.S. or an individual is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” The EO follows a September 4, 2020 White House memorandum criticizing federal agencies for having “divisive, un-American” training sessions on “white privilege” and “critical race theory” and demanding that they end racial sensitivity trainings. The EO also comes at a time when many contractors have been increasing their diversity and anti-bias trainings in response to racial and social justice issues brought to the forefront over the last several months.
While the precise parameters of the types of training prohibited by the EO are not clear, contractors should review their diversity and anti-bias training initiatives in light of these new requirements. If implemented, the EO requirements will be included in federal prime contracts entered on or after November 21, 2020, and will require prime contractors to flow the requirements down their subcontractors and vendors.
Read more on MoFo's Government Contracts Insights Blog.