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The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, updated 29 CFR 29 and 29 CFR 30 to include regulations that prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship programs because of age (40 or older), genetic information, sexual orientation, and disability. These categories are in addition to the existing regulations that prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship programs because of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. Federal regulations also require sponsors to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship. State agencies with recognized apprenticeship programs are required to update administration rules to reflect federal regulations.
The emergency rule differs from the current rule by:
- Creating the definitions "ADA," "affirmative action plan," "apprentice," "EEO," "ethnic group" or "ethnicity," "genetic information," "individual with a disability," journeyworker," "major life activities," "physical or mental impairment," "pre-apprenticeship program," "qualified applicant or apprentice," "reasonable accommodation," "registered," "UGESP," and "Wisconsin equal rights division."
- Amending the definition "affirmative action program" to align with federal regulations.
- Repealing the definitions "agency," "commission," "secretary of labor," "minority count," and "female count" because those terms are no longer used in ch. DWD 296.
- Amending the definitions "department," and "employer" to reflect proper citation.
The emergency rule also does all the following:
- Requires sponsors to invite applicants to self-identify as an individual with a disability at various times in the application and hiring process and requires sponsors to make a one-time invitation to apprentices currently in registered apprenticeship programs.
- Improves and clarifies the affirmative steps employers and sponsors shall take to ensure equal opportunity in their registered apprenticeship program.
- Requires sponsors to analyze their workforce and take affirmative actions to employ individuals with a disability.
- Establishes a utilization goal of 7% for individuals with a disability within a sponsor's registered apprenticeship programs.
- Requires sponsors to conduct a workforce analysis by occupation and availability analysis by major occupation group.
- Clarifies certain minimum outreach and recruitment efforts that are required for all sponsors, and additional efforts that sponsors with affirmative action programs will take if they find themselves to be underutilizing members of a protected class.
- Requires a sponsor to assign an individual to oversee the sponsor's equal employment opportunity efforts.
Allows sponsors to use any method of selecting apprentices that complies with the UGESP, rather than using one of four specified methods under the current rule.
- Requires sponsors to conduct periodic orientation and information sessions for those connected with the registered apprenticeship programs, including anti-harassment training.
- Allows the department to sanction noncompliant sponsors by suspending their right to register new apprentices while they implement corrective affirmative action plans. Under current law, the department is authorized only to deregister noncompliant sponsors.
- Specifies exactly what sponsors are required to do for outreach recruitment.
- Provides more flexibility for sponsors to use any selection method for apprentices, as long as it is not discriminatory. Current rule requires the sponsor to use one of four selection methods.
- Streamlines and simplifies sponsor's obligations while maintaining broad and effective equal employment opportunity protections for applicants or apprentices in a registered apprenticeship program.
In addition, the emergency rule provides sponsors 180 days to create a revised EEO plan and one year to bring their registered apprenticeship program into compliance with the new requirements and the department will provide technical assistance as needed.
Updates to ch. DWD 295 are only technical in nature and update cross references to the new sections in ch. DWD 296.
Summary of, and comparison with, existing or proposed federal regulations
The emergency rule reflects changes under federal regulations 29 CFR 29 (Labor Standards for the Registration of Apprenticeship) and 29 CFR 30 (Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship). Prior to an update in January 2017, the federal regulations were last revised in 1978, prohibiting discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion and national origin and requiring sponsors with more than five apprentices to develop and implement a written affirmative action plan for minorities and the inclusion of female apprentices. Currently, these regulations are intended to provide for more uniform training of apprentices and promote equal opportunity in apprenticeship.
Comparison with rules in adjacent states
Minnesota operates a recognized state apprenticeship agency organized under 29 CFR 29.13 (Minn. Stat. Ch. 178). Illinois, Iowa and Michigan have not established state apprenticeship agencies and registered apprenticeship in those states operates under federal law only.
Summary of factual data and analytical methodologies
The department is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a state apprenticeship agency under 29 CFR 29.13. Department staff reviewed state statute and implemented the requirements under 29 CFR 29 and 29 CFR 30 to maintain this recognition.
Analysis and supporting documents used to determine effect on small business or in preparation of an economic impact analysis
The proposed rule will have no significant economic impact on small businesses as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats.
Anticipated costs incurred by private sector
Not Applicable.
Effect on small business
The proposed rule will have no significant economic effect on small businesses as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats.
Agency contact person
Questions and comments related to this rule may be directed to:
Karen Morgan, Apprenticeship Bureau Director
Department of Workforce Development
Division of Employment Training
P.O. Box 7972
Madison, WI 53707
Telephone: (608) 266-3133
Place where comments are to be submitted and deadline for submission
Karen Morgan, Apprenticeship Bureau Director
Department of Workforce Development
Division of Employment Training
P.O. Box 7972
Madison, WI 53707
Telephone: (608) 266-3133
Hearing comments will be accepted until the last scheduled hearing is conducted. DWD will hold a hearing in conjunction with the permanent rule hearing.
Finding of emergency
The department of workforce development is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, as a state apprenticeship agency. Due to the changes under 29 CFR Part 29 and 29 CFR Part 30, the department is required to implement federal changes by January 18, 2019. If these changes are not implemented on the state level, the department risks losing this recognition and will no longer be permitted to register apprentices. The department is currently in the process of promulgating a permanent rule relating to this matter.
Section 1. DWD 295.02 (2) (b) 23. is amended to read:
DWD 295.02 (2) (b) 23. Compliance with 29 CFR 30, including the equal opportunity pledge prescribed in 29 CFR 30.3 (b); an affirmative action plan complying with s. DWD 296.04 296.05; and a method for the selection of apprentices authorized by s. DWD 296.05 296.20, or compliance with parallel requirement contained in a state plan for equal opportunity in apprenticeship adopted under ch. DWD 296 and approved by the department. The apprenticeship standards shall also include a statement that the program shall be conducted, operated and administered in conformity with applicable provisions of ch. DWD 296, as amended, or, if applicable, an approved state plan for equal opportunity in apprenticeship.
Section 2. DWD 296 is repealed and recreated to read:
Chapter DWD 296
Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Standards for Apprenticeship Programs
DWD 296.01 Applicability. This chapter applies to all sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs under ch. 106, Stats.
DWD 296.02 Definitions. In this chapter:
(1)  ADAˮ means the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended.
(2)   Affirmative action planˮ means a written tool designed to assist a sponsor in detecting, diagnosing, and correcting any barriers to equal opportunity that may exist in the sponsor's registered apprenticeship program.
(3)   Affirmative action programˮ has the meaning given in 29 CFR 30.4 (a).
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.