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Biden Quashes Trump Diversity Training Order in Equity Push (1)

Jan. 21, 2021, 12:19 AMUpdated: Jan. 21, 2021, 1:46 PM

President Joe Biden rolled back a controversial Trump executive order that banned federal agencies and contractors from providing “divisive” diversity training for workers, while launching his administration’s diversity and inclusion priorities.

Biden signed a bevy of executive orders after taking the oath of office, several of which set up his administration’s push for equity in the workplace and in other areas.

One of those orders launches “a whole-of-government” initiative to advance racial equity. It mandates internal reviews of each federal agency and requires agency leaders to draw up plans to address any disparities or barriers in policies or programs.

Biden also signed an order ensuring the federal government builds on a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlawed workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It directs all agencies to ensure that other federal laws that ban sex bias also cover LGBTQ+ individuals. An open question exists, for example, on whether Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments protects LGBTQ+ students.

Former President Donald Trump‘s diversity training order prohibited agencies and contractors from educating workers on topics like “White privilege” or from providing other forms of training deemed to promote “scapegoating” based on race or sex. The order was signed on Sept. 22, but a federal judge blocked it in December, pausing its enforcement.

Trump’s training order disrupted hundreds of scheduled programs and events, as many companies that work with the government awaited the outcome of the presidential election.

(Updated to reflect signing of executive orders. Story originally published Jan. 20. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Paige Smith in Washington at psmith@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com; John Lauinger at jlauinger@bloomberglaw.com

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