That Was Then. This Is Now.
Click on the image to view the full-size timeline of laws about sex discrimination in the workplace. For an accessible version of this infographic, click here.OFCCP’s guidelines were designed to address laws and employment practices as they existed 45 years ago. They read almost like a history textbook, a relic of our past. They certainly do not address the changes to the law that have occurred since they were written, nor the barriers to equal opportunity and fair pay that women continue to face in the workplace today. Today, women who work full-time earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. Sex segregation remains widespread; women are underrepresented in higher-level and more senior jobs. Women still report that they have been discriminated against because of pregnancy. Assumptions that family caregiving responsibilities will interfere with work performance still limit opportunities. Sexual harassment remains pervasive, especially in jobs that are not considered traditional for women. Progress has been happening on all these fronts – in courtrooms and city halls and state legislative chambers across the country. In the past year alone, Illinois, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and West Virginia have enacted legislation requiring employers to provide accommodations, such as stools to sit on or light-duty assignments, to pregnant workers. Now, it’s time – past time, really – for us to do our part. Today, we announced a proposal to finally revise OFCCP’s Sex Discrimination Guidelines so that they reflect changes in the law and in the workplace that have taken place since 1970. Our Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register this Friday, and we invite you to share your feedback on it by going to www.dol.gov/ofccp/SDNPRM. The comment period closes on March 31. Our revisions of these guidelines are about good government. They’re about ensuring that both women and men are treated fairly in the workplace. And they will provide employers with much needed clarity in understanding their obligations under the law. Donna Lenhoff is the senior civil rights advisor in the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.