Biden Administration Rescinds Prohibitions on Diversity and Inclusion Training By Government Contractors and Grantees

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The Biden Administration did not waste time in rescinding former President Trump’s controversial Executive Order 13950, which limited the ability of federal government contractors and grantees to conduct certain types of diversity and inclusion training. On January 20, 2021, the first day of the new administration, President Biden issued a new Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Throughout the Federal Government. Among other initiatives, the new Executive Order rescinds Executive Order 13950 and requires federal agencies to review and consider rescinding any agency actions arising out of or relating to Executive Order 13950.  Executive Order 13950’s prohibitions had previously been paused by a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on December 22, 2020.

Executive Order 13950 had created much uncertainty among federal contractors about the types of diversity and inclusion training that can permissibly be provided. With the order’s rescission, contractors that had suspended or limited their training efforts can now comfortably proceed without facing a risk of OFCCP enforcement.