OFCCP NPRM RIN 1250-AA09 Religious Exemption Letter from Civil Rights Groups to Extend Comment Period

View this letter as a PDF here. 

August 28, 2019

Patrick Pizzella
Acting Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20210

Craig Leen
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20210

RE: Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption (RIN 1250-AA09)

Dear Acting Secretary Pizzella and Director Leen:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the undersigned 92 organizations request that the Department of Labor extend the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the RIN number 1250-AA09 and titled Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption. We request the comment period be extended for a minimum of 60 additional days beyond the current deadline of September 16, 2019. The proposed 30-day comment window is insufficient to receive meaningful public participation in the rulemaking process.

The proposed changes are far-reaching and impact approximately one-fifth of the U.S. labor force.[1] If finalized in their current form, we believe they will significantly and negatively impact the rights of employees, applicants, and others who work for federal contractors all across the country. The proposed rule and its Regulatory Impact Analysis could have numerous legal implications and costs and benefits for employees, applicants, current and prospective contractors, federal agencies, state and local agencies charged with enforcing their own civil rights laws, taxpayers, and the economy as a whole. Our organizations and many others need sufficient time to fully understand this proposal, including its costs and benefits, relevant legal authorities, social science research, and economic data in order to compose well-informed comments.

As a result, it is imperative that the public be given sufficient time to evaluate the potential impacts and costs of this proposal, including its potential to contribute to discrimination and restrict opportunities for workers to provide for themselves and their families. We believe providing a longer comment period is consistent with OFCCP’s stated mission to “protect workers, promote diversity and enforce the law.”[2]

Advocates, contractors, employees, and all stakeholders deserve a meaningful opportunity to be heard on this important rulemaking. We ask that the Department affirm its commitment to a wide-reaching notice-and-comment period by extending the deadline by a minimum of 60 days. Doing so will ensure that the communities we serve who will be affected by these proposed changes are given the opportunity to engage and give the Department the benefit of a robust rule-making process.

For questions, please contact Gaylynn Burroughs, Senior Policy Counsel at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at (202) 466-3311 or [email protected].


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity
American Association of University Women
American Atheists
American Civil Liberties Union
American Constitution Society
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
American Humanist Association
Americans United for Separation of Church & State
Arab American Institute
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Association of People Supporting Employment First
Campaign for Accountability
Center for American Progress
Center for Law & Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for Reproductive Rights
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Council for Global Equality
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Economic Policy Institute
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality California
Equality North Carolina
Family Equality
Feminist Majority Foundation
Fenway Health
Free Government Information
Freedom for All Americans
Futures Without Violence
Government Information Watch
Hispanic Federation
Human Rights Campaign
Impact Fund
interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth
Interfaith Alliance
Jobs with Justice
Justice in Aging
Lambda Legal
League of Women Voters of the United States
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Movement Advancement Project
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Disability Rights Network
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Health Network
National Women’s Law Center
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Open the Government
Oxfam America
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Protect All Children’s Environment
Public Citizen
Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition
Secular Policy Institute
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
Silver State Equality-Nevada
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Network
The Arc of the United States
The Trevor Project
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Mine Workers of America
United Steelworkers (USW)
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Workplace Fairness


[1] https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/about/50thAnniversaryHistory.html

[2] https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/aboutof.html