DOL Proposes Updates to 2014 Job Training Law

The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to update nondiscrimination and equal opportunity rules in financially assisted programs and activities under the Work Innovation and Opportunity Act, a job training reform bill enacted two years ago.

Signed by President Obama in 2014, the WIOA unifies and streamlines federal job training programs. Regulations governing those programs haven’t changed since 1999.

WIOA requires DOL to issue regulations to implement Section 188 of the law, the provisions that require equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the workforce development system. Section 188 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries, applicants, and participants only, citizenship status, or because of an individual’s participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA.

Highlights of the proposed rules include:

  • Update the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions to align them with current law and legal principles;
  • Ensure protection from discrimination based on pregnancy;
  • Safeguard meaningful access to the workforce system for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP);
  • Ensure access to the workforce system by people with disabilities by bringing the regulations in line with updated disability civil rights law;
  • Ensure that recipients and partners are aware of the full scope of their obligations;
  • Outline protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people;
  • Improve the effectiveness of the Department’s enforcement program to support compliance.

A fact sheet on the proposed rules is available here.

 

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