Financial reform legislation also targets diversity in workplace

Q&A with Tony Puckett

published in The Oklahoman | November 17, 2010

McAfee & Taft labor and employment attorney Tony Puckett was featured in The Oklahoman discussing hidden regulations in the new financial reform that targets diversity in the workplace.

Signed into law this past summer, the new financial reform includes regulatory reviews of gender and racial diversity in federal government agencies’ employment practices. Along with this review, these organizations must establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion that will be responsible for issues regarding diversity in management, employment and business activities. The Inclusion will also require a standard for each agency.

“Directors of the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion are required to develop standards for equal employment opportunity, diversity in the agency’s work force and senior management, increased participation of businesses owned by minorities and women in the agency’s programs and contracts and evaluation of diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the agency,” Puckett told The Oklahoman. “If a director determines that an agency contractor did not make a good-faith effort to include women and minorities in its work force, the director can recommend termination of the contract to the agency administrator.”

Businesses that are subject to this legislation need to start planning ahead on the new standards Puckett advises. Looking at your current diversity programs and practices along with the Office of Federal Compliance Programs (OFCCP) decide if your current diversity programs comply with the new standards or if you need a new ones.