In August 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive 2014-02, adding gender identity and sexual orientation to its list of protected categories.  During a review of OFCCP’s recently updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for its Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) regulations, we noticed that the agency has added “sexual orientation, gender identity” to FAQ #2 in the Equal Opportunity Clause section.  The phrases are now part of OFCCP’s example of a combined, “incorporation by reference” Equal Opportunity (EO) clause.

Federal contractors will want to be sure they have added these categories to the EEO clause wherever it is included on any of their written or posted notices, paychecks, purchase orders, etc.

FAQ#2 of the Equal Opportunity Clause follows:

Equal Opportunity Clause 

2. Are federal contractors permitted to combine all of the Equal Opportunity (EO) clauses required by 41 CFR 60-300.5(a), 41 CFR 60-741.5(a), and 41 CFR 60-1.4(a) (or for construction contractors, 41 CFR 60-4.3(a)) into a single, consolidated “incorporation by reference” clause?

Yes, contractors may combine all of their required EO clauses into a single “incorporation by reference” clause, provided that the entire combined clause is set in bold text and the prescribed content of the veteran and disability EO “incorporation by reference” clauses is preserved.  The following example provides one illustration of how this might be done for a supply and service contractor:

This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-1.4(a), 60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a).  These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals based on their status as protected veterans or individuals with disabilities, and prohibit discrimination against all individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.  Moreover, these regulations require that covered prime contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.