Monday, July 26, 2010

Financial Reform Bill Would Impose Diversity Requirements for Federal Contractors

Connecticut Employment Law Blog
Posted at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2010 by Daniel Schwartz

Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd has been spearheading a massive financial reform package that will have a noticeable impact on that industry, including many businesses based here in Connecticut.
The final Conference Report (which you can download here, all 884 pages worth!), contains several provisions that will affect financial services employers who will be dealing with either existing or newly created federal agencies in the financial services area.
Section 342 of the bill would create an "Office of Minority and Women Inclusion" in the each of the 20 or so financial-services agencies; those offices would be responsible for all matters "relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities". However, these new offices would not be responsible for enforcement of various civil rights laws.
So what would be the duties of these offices? To develop standards for:
equal employment opportunity and the racial, ethnic,and gender diversity of the workforce and senior management of the agency;
increased participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the programs and contracts of the agency, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and
assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency.
For contract proposals, the agencies must also set up procedures that include a component that consideration to the diversity of the applicant (to the extent that it is consistent with other federal anti-discrimination laws).

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