The Labor Department’s contractor compliance agency will propose to roll back a controversial Trump-era rule that broadened the defenses religious federal contractors can use when accused of workplace discrimination.
The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs told a Southern District of New York judge Tuesday and a District of Oregon judge Wednesday that it “intends to propose rescission” of the rule “in the near future,” requesting stays in separate cases brought in January by a group of states and labor unions challenging the regulation.
The OFCCP wants the judge to pause the litigation for 90 days in light of the agency’s rescission plan, which could take several months “as it will entail notice-and-comment rulemaking,” it said.
The Labor Department declined to comment on the filing.
The rule, which took effect in January before President
“Closely held” corporations could also take advantage of the exemptions under the rule, if an owner was making religiously-motivated employment decisions.
The states argued that the OFCCP rule weakened anti-bias protections for workers, echoing previous concerns from civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union.