At the beginning of 2021, Oregon Tradeswomen, alongside Pride at Work and the American Federation of Teachers, represented by Democracy Forward, the National Women’s Law Center, and Albies & Stark LCC, filed a legal challenge against the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
In this legal challenge, the parties argued that a Trump-era “Religious Exemption Rule” was unlawful and harmful. The rule allowed federal contractors to discriminate against women, LGBTQ+ people, and other employees on the basis of religious belief was issued in the last days of the Trump presidency. For Oregon Tradeswomen and our allies, this sanctioned discrimination had to be challenged
With the transition of power from the Trump administrations, the Biden Administration quickly proposed a draft decree rescinding the rule later in 2021. Our coalition submitted a comment in support of the rescission, expounding on the harm that the Trump-era rule created for workers. Following the action taken by our coalition, the DOL rescinded the rule.
We applause the Biden Administration and Department of Labor for their deliberate action against this discriminatory rule. Allowing discrimination on any basis emboldens and protects bigots to discriminate freely without consequence. Thanks to the Biden Administration, a clear message was sent that the federal government does not condone discrimination.