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They Blame it on Us?

Beyond the Rhetoric

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow Alford | 4/13/2020, 3:13 p.m.

It is absolutely shocking! In Illinois, 43 percent of people who have died from the disease and 28 percent of those who have tested positive are African-Americans, a group that makes up just 15 percent of the state’s population. African-Americans, who account for a third of positive tests in Michigan, represent 40 percent of deaths in that state even though they make up 14 percent of the population. In Louisiana, about 70 percent of the people who have died are black, though only a third of that state’s population is.

This is intolerable yet the federal government is acting as if we are the cause. They blame it on Affirmative Action. We’ve shown this to you before, but we need you to see it again; the instructions given to federal agencies by the Department of Labor follow:

FROM: Department of Labor (emphasis added by us):

TO: ALL CONTRACTING AGENCIES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

SUBJECT: Contracts for Coronavirus Relief Efforts

In view of the special circumstances in the national interest presented by the novel coronavirus outbreak, and consistent with agency practice relating to emergency responses, I have decided to grant a limited exemption and waiver from some of the requirements of the laws administered by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246 (EO 11246), as amended, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 503), as amended, and Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), as amended, which require that Federal contracting agencies include in all covered supply & service and construction contracts an equal opportunity clause. OFCCP regulations authorize me to exempt contracts from requiring the inclusion of any part of the equal opportunity clause in any specific contract when I deem that special circumstances in the national interest so require, when it is impracticable to act upon requests for exemptions individually, and where such waiver will contribute to convenience in the administration of the authorities enforced by OFCCP. 41 CFR 60-1.5(b)(1), 60-300.4(b)(1), and 60-741.4(b)(1).

The exemption and waivers granted herein relate to obligations under EO 11246, Section 503, and VEVRAA. Federal contracting agencies may utilize the following equal opportunity clauses in covered contracts entered into specifically to provide Coronavirus relief. Accordingly, the EEO clauses in FAR sections may be modified as follows:

As a preamble to the insertion of 52.222-26: Notice: The following terms of this clause are waived for this contract: subparagraph (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5)(ii), (c)(6), (c)(8), and the phrase “on-site compliance evaluations and” in (c)(9). As a preamble to the insertion of 52.222.35:

In short, this exemption and waiver extends to all affirmative action obligations of supply and service and construction contracts, and other obligations as specified in the FAR clauses above. The exemption and waivers do not apply to the processing of complaints of discrimination under 41 CFR 60-1.21-1.24, 41 CFR 60-300.61 and 41 CFR 60-741.61. The exemptions and waivers also do not exempt a covered contractor from their obligation to comply with other federal, state and local civil rights laws.