26 January 2021

Final Death Knell for the Trump Diversity Training Order

In an expected move, on his first day in office President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order that officially rescinded former President Trump’s controversial Executive Order 13950.  13950 was the diversity training directive that prohibited federal agencies and contractors from training employees in any topics that promoted racial/sex stereotyping or “scapegoating,” and included a list of “divisive concepts.”  OFCCP had established a toll-free hotline and website, and began accepting complaints from the public about training materials that addressed unconscious or implicit bias.

From the outset in September 2020 13950 had been the source of much criticism and speculation hinging on the election’s outcome.  13950 disrupted many diversity and inclusion training programs and events, while contractors struggled to determine exactly what was permitted without jeopardizing their federal contracts.

In late December a federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the order, ruling that parts of 13950 were so vague that it was impossible to determine what training information was prohibited.

Biden’s rollback is contained in a larger “Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through the Federal Government” that promotes a “comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all.”  This new Biden enactment ends any question about the now defunct Executive Order by explicitly revoking 13950.  OFCCP has announced that it will stop accepting complaints about training violations, and will take no further investigation or enforcement action.