Monday, August 23, 2010

Affirmative Action Rules hidden in Financial Reform Bill

Oregon Business Report
August 23, 2010
Surprise! Wall Street Reform Bill Contains Massive New Affirmative Action Requirements
Written by Wayne D. Landsverk
Miller Nash LLP,
Oregon and Washington Law Firm

With all the media attention given to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, there was almost no mention of a far-reaching provision (Section 342) that imposes new diversity requirements on businesses in or connected to the financial industry.Section 342 requires that within six months of July 21, 2010, each of the following federal agencies establish its own Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (“OMWI”):• Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve• Comptroller of the Currency• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau• Department of the Treasury• Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation• Federal Housing Finance Agency• Federal Reserve Regional Banks (12 separate banks)• National Credit Union Administration• Securities and Exchange Commission
The director of each OMWI is required by Section 342 to develop and implement his or her own standards and procedures “to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in all business and activities of the agency at all levels, including in procurement, insurance, and all types of contracts.” (Emphasis added.) Contractors, in turn, will be required to provide a written statement that they—and their subcontractors—have fairly included women and minorities in their workforces.

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