MCAA Seeks Delay on Affirmative Action and Non-Discrimination Regs

January 11, 2016

As the last year of the Obama Administration begins, regulatory activity is intensifying to get long-delayed initiatives off the regulatory docket and into regulations before the end of the legislative year to avoid Congressional suspension and review of midnight regulations. One issue concerns new and much more comprehensive affirmative action and non-discrimination regulations proposed for registered apprenticeship programs.

MCAA filed comments in late December seeking an extension of the comment period, slated to close January 5, until March 6, 2016 or later. The delay would allow more comprehensive and constructive analyses of sweeping new rules that set goals for disabled apprenticeship applicants and written affirmative action plans, comprised of specific labor market workforce availability analyses for minority and female candidates, and utilization analyses and specific goals and timetables for affirmative action goal compliance.

The proposed regulations also add age and gender identity/sexual preference as categories for non-discrimination safeguards in program administration. Penalties for non-compliance range up to program de-registration.

MCAA is working with the UA and the International Training Fund and an outside consultant on program compliance guidance. The Department of Labor granted the extension, with the comment period now due to expire on January 20, 2016.

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