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.
What are sponsors’ and employers’ responsibilities regarding harassing, intimidating, or retaliatory conduct toward apprentices?
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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
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
All apprentices and applicants for apprenticeship are protected against discrimination on the grounds listed in 29 C.F.R. 30.3 of the apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity regulations. This means that no apprentice or applicant can be discriminated against because of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), disability, age (40 or older), sexual orientation, or genetic information. So, for example, both men and women, as well as people of all races and ethnicities, are protected from discrimination on these bases.Read More
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.Read More