Fedweek

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Among the many initiatives in President Biden’s new executive order on diversity issues is reinstating diversity and inclusiveness training for federal employees, which the Trump administration last fall suspended pending a review—never finished—which for what it called divisive content.

Biden earlier had revoked that Trump policy but the new order goes further by stating that federal employees should “have knowledge of systemic and institutional racism and bias against underserved communities, be supported in building skillsets to promote respectful and inclusive workplaces and eliminate workplace harassment, have knowledge of agency accessibility practices, and have increased understanding of implicit and unconscious bias.”

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OPM and the EEOC are to “issue guidance and serve as a resource and repository for best practices for agencies to develop or enhance existing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility training programs.”

Other aspects of the order tell OPM to:

· Strengthen partnerships with educational and other institutions to promote recruitment for federal jobs among minorities and other targeted populations.

· Review job classification and compensation practices for their potential to cause pay inequities and to consider barring agencies from seeking or relying on an applicant’s salary history during the hiring process to set pay or when setting pay for a current employee.

· Ensure that agencies are complying with laws regarding employment of those with disabilities and assess whether to expand the “Schedule A” hiring authority that can be used in certain situations.

· Evaluate the existence of any barriers that formerly incarcerated individuals face in accessing federal employment opportunities and to consider establishing a new hiring authority for them.

Additionally, individual agencies are to:

· More closely track demographic data in professional development and advancement programs to identify ways to improve outreach to under-represented groups.

· Assure that existing employee support services equitably serve LGBTQ+ employees and eligible dependents, and to “foster an inclusive environment where all employees’ gender identities are respected, such as by including, where applicable, non-binary gender marker and pronoun options in federal hiring, employment, and benefits enrollment forms.”

· Promote the use by agencies of paid, rather than unpaid, internships.

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2021 Federal Employees Handbook