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Injunction Prevents Enforcement of Executive Order 13950

by | January 5, 2021

UPDATE: As of January 20, 2021, Executive Order 13950 has been rescinded by President Joe Biden.

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the enforcement of certain sections of Executive Order 13950. The preliminary injunction was issued on December 22, 2020. The order granting the preliminary injunction prohibits the federal government from implementing sections 4 and 5 of the Executive Order. These sections establish requirements for federal contractors and federal grantees.

As we have discussed in previous blog posts, Executive Order 13950 prohibits certain forms of training regarding subjects such as systemic racism or unconscious bias . The Executive Order directed various federal agencies to evaluate training occurring within the federal government. The Executive Order also directed federal agencies to evaluate training being done by federal contractors and grantees. There has been extensive criticism of Executive Order 13950 because of the impact on diversity and inclusion efforts by the federal government and private organizations. There have also been first amendment concerns regarding the Executive Order.

Section 4 of the Executive Order was focused on training by federal contractors and subcontractors. This section of the Executive Order directed the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to establish a hotline for complaints about training occurring among private sector employers. Section 4 also directed OFCCP to collect training materials from federal contractors and subcontractors.

In response to the preliminary injunction, OFCCP has issued the following statement on its website:

On December 22, 2020, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting OFCCP from implementing, enforcing, or effectuating Section 4 of Executive Order 13950 “in any manner against any recipient of federal funding by way of contract [or] subcontract….” This preliminary injunction took effect immediately. For a more detailed notice regarding OFCCP’s compliance with this court order, click HERE.

While sections 4 and 5 of the Executive Order have been enjoined, the remaining portions of Executive Order 13950 remain in effect. There is additional litigation involving the Executive Order, and President-Elect Biden is likely to withdraw the Executive Order when he takes office. Thus, it is extremely unlikely that Executive Order 13950’s requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors will be revived.