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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO Stands Against Race-Based Regulations for Apprenticeships

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding its “proposed rule revising the regulations for registered apprenticeships.” The letter, which the State of Tennessee led, notes the coalition’s nationwide concerns over race-based regulations for apprenticeships.

According to the attorneys general, “the proposed rule deviates from the statutory purpose of safeguarding the welfare of apprentices and builds on existing regulations to further entrench an apprenticeship regime dedicated to picking winners and losers based on the color of apprentices’ skin.”

In their letter, the States highlighted “four legal barriers to the type of race-based system the Proposed Rule appears to require.” Those barriers are that “the Department’s imposition of new oversight and data collection requirements on State Apprenticeship Agencies exceeds the scope of the agency’s Spending-Clause authority, [that] the Department’s proposed race-based requirements for apprenticeship program design and administration violate the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, [that] race-based employment decision-making violates Title VII and related civil-rights laws, [and that] ‘what cannot be done directly’ under governing law ‘cannot be done indirectly.’”

The coalition of attorneys general wrote, “As we have previously admonished private employers and the Department of Commerce, neither public nor private employers can lawfully pursue that goal by engaging in racial discrimination, regardless of whether their efforts go under the labels of ‘equity,’ ‘DEIA,’ or other similar euphemisms. Additionally, no federal agency can wield legislative authority beyond that lawfully granted by Congress.”

Joining Utah and Tennessee on the letter were the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Read the letter here.