Wallace Manar SJR 7SPRINGFIELD– Companies that work on projects receiving federal money are required to meet certain anti-discrimination and minority employment standards. Those rules have been on the books since 1965, haven’t been updated since 1980 and are based on census data from 1970.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and the Faith Coalition for the Common Good are urging the federal government to update those standards to reflect the demographic changes of the last 45 years.

“The face of our communities has dramatically changed in the past 30 years. The workforce in our cities and state must be reflective of our community,” said Irma Wallace, Transportation Equity Network National Liaison for FCCG.

The federal government’s minority hiring rules prohibit federal contractors and sub-contractors from discriminating in employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex or nationality.

These rules are based on a 1965 executive order issued by President Lyndon Johnson. In addition to banning discrimination, the order also established minority participation goals that were last updated in 1980 — based on population and workforce data from the 1970 census.

The standards were scheduled to be revised in 2010, but no action has been taken.

“We live in a diverse state, in a diverse nation. Our workforce should reflect out population now, not our population from 1970,” Manar said.

Manar and Wallace testified before the state Senate’s Labor Committee. The committee approved Senate Joint Resolution 7 that urges President Obama, members of Congress and the U.S. Department of Labor to update these regulations.

The resolution now moves goes to the entire Senate for approval.

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