Sponsors of apprenticeship programs that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) need to be aware of a final rule updating equal employment opportunity (EEO) requirements.
Under regulations last updated in 1978, employers are prohibited from discriminating against apprentices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex and are required to take affirmative action efforts to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeships, according to the DOL.
The final rule, which went into effect on January 18, 2017, expands existing protections against discrimination to also include disability, age (40 years or older), genetic information, and sexual orientation. In addition, the rule clarifies that discrimination based on pregnancy or gender identity is considered to be sex discrimination.
Among other things, the final rule stipulates certain training requirements: orientation and information sessions on an organization’s EEO policy, as well as antiharassment training.
For more information, visit www.dol.gov/apprenticeship.