While 29 C.F.R. 30.3 only specifically prohibits age discrimination against those 40 and older, sponsors do not need to include the modifier “40 or older” in their materials referring to age discrimination if they choose not to. Sponsors should also be aware of applicable state and/or local age discrimination laws that may apply, as some of these laws prohibit age discrimination against those who are younger than 40.
Is it enough for a sponsor to add “age” to the list of protected characteristics in its Equal Employment Opportunity Pledge, apprenticeship application, and other literature, or must the information specify age 40 or older?
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The apprenticeship EEO regulations were developed to help apprenticeship sponsors reach a larger and more diverse pool of workers. Additionally, the regulations prohibit discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in Registered Apprenticeship Programs; provide a method of filing discrimination complaints; and specify affirmative steps sponsors must take to promote a skilled, diverse apprenticeship workforce.Read More
Regardless of the model of sponsorship, the sponsor is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the apprenticeship program complies with the obligations of the Equal Employment Opportunity regulations. When the sponsor is either the employer or has direct input into decisions on hiring, promotion, or termination of apprentices, the sponsor must ensure these actions comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity regulations. Where discriminatory actions or other actions in violation of this part are taken by employers participating in the sponsor’s program, the sponsor has an obligation to undertake steps to address the violation when it has knowledge of such actions.Read More
The apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity regulations do not specify veterans as a protected group. However, a sponsor may specifically seek out veterans or give them preference in hiring as long as doing so does not discriminate on the basis of any of the protected characteristics. For example, a preference for veterans – who are more likely to be male than female – might have a disparate impact on women that is neither job-related nor consistent with business necessity. Therefore, sponsors should proceed with caution in creating “veteran-only” apprenticeship programs.Read More
Under the Equal Employment Opportunity regulations, sponsors must develop and implement procedures to ensure that apprentices are not harassed because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), sexual orientation, age (40 or older), genetic information, or disability, and to also ensure that their apprenticeship programs are free from intimidation and retaliation. In those situations where discriminatory actions or other actions in violation of this part are taken by employers participating in the sponsor’s program, the sponsor has an obligation to take steps to address the violation when it has knowledge of such actions.Read More