Scott Statement on Trump Administration’s Final Rule to Weaken Anti-Discrimination Protections in Federal Contracting

December 7, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC  Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) finalized a rule to gut nondiscrimination protections by vastly expanding religious exemptions to Executive Order 11246, which prohibit discrimination in hiring by federal contractors.

“Today, the Trump administration finalized a rule to weaken anti-discrimination protections in federal contracting. The new rules gives taxpayer-funded contractors, including some for-profit corporations, the power to hire and fire employees for any potentially discriminatory reasons, except race, under the guise of religious freedom. 

“By finalizing this rule, the Department abandons its duty to protect workers from discrimination—bizarrely stating that nondiscrimination provisions are not ‘compelling.’ This harmful rule broadens religious exemptions to allow employers claiming sincerely held religious beliefs to discriminate against our most vulnerable communities, including LGBTQ Americans and pregnant women.  

“Congress must take action to pass the Do No Harm Act and ensure the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not used as a weapon to undermine anti-discrimination protections. Civil rights laws should protect those who are discriminated against—not those who are engaged in illegal discrimination.”

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