Treasury Department finalizes rule on hiring women, minorities

by Judith E. Kramer

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a final rule requiring that any entity that enters into a contract with the department make good-faith efforts to include minorities and women in its workforce.

The new rule goes into effect April 21. The requirement grows out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which states that covered agencies will require contractors to provide a written statement that the “contractor shall ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion of women and minorities in the workforce of the contractor, and as applicable, subcontractors.”

“Good-faith efforts” are interpreted to mean efforts consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Executive Order 11246, as amended, such as identification and elimination of employment barriers, widespread publication of employment opportunities, and other forms of outreach to minorities and women.

Documents demonstrating good-faith efforts may include but aren’t limited to:

  • The total number of a contractor’s employees and the number of minority and women employees as provided on the contractor’s EEO-1 form;
  • Information about subcontract awards, including the subcontractor’s race, ethnicity, and/or gender status;
  • Race, ethnicity, and gender information about the subcontractor’s employees; and
  • The contractor’s plan to ensure that minorities and women have opportunities to enter and advance in the workforce.

The department’s requirements will apply to all service contracts above the simplified acquisition threshold ($150,000).

Judith E. Kramer is an attorney with Fortney & Scott, LLC in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at For more information on the new Treasury Department rule, see the April 2014 issue of Federal Employment Law Insider.