DOL Equal Employment Opportunity Rule

On December 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final rule to modernize the equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. The existing regulations prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex, and require that sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in such programs.  The final rule updates this section to include age (40 or older), genetic information, sexual orientation, and disability among the list of protected bases upon which a sponsor must not discriminate. It also further modifies the affirmative action provisions for sponsors by detailing the actions a sponsor must take to satisfy its affirmative action obligations, including those individuals with disabilities. 

Apprenticeship Executive Order

On June 15, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13801, which doubles federal apprenticeship funding to $200 million, with a goal of creating 5 million apprentices in the next 5 years. The EO gives the private sector more input in designing programs, however, uncertainty exists whether the construction industry would be fully eligible for these programs. The EO contains language that many be interpret to exclude construction’s eligibility because of the perception to some that registered apprenticeships are already effective and widespread in the industry.

Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America