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A federal court granted a nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the federal government from implementing or enforcing Executive Order 13950 (“EO 13950”) on free speech and due process grounds. Government contractors and grant recipients were concerned that EO 13950, issued by the Trump Administration in September, could force them to change the way they implement diversity and sensitivity training or face the possibility of losing government contracts.

This ruling applies to all federal contractors and those receiving federal grants, meaning the contractors and grant recipients are likely free, for at least the time being, to conduct workplace training on issues such as unconscious and systemic bias, privilege, and affirmative-action without the fear of having their contracts canceled, or of being declared ineligible for future federal government contracts because of EO 13950. It is important to note, however, the Court has not issued a permanent injunction. Federal contractors and companies receiving federal grants should consider coordinating with legal counsel to monitor future court proceedings.

Note the court’s preliminary injunction order does not apply to those portions of EO 13950 relating to the United States Uniformed Services or to federal agencies’ direct training of their own personnel. In other words, the federal government may continue to prohibit its own agencies and the military from conducting any workplace training “that inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating.”

Continue reading our previous post on this topic, “The 2020 Election and Executive Orders: How Federal Contractors Provide Lawful Diversity and Unconscious Bias Training”