Over the last several months, employers have been receiving letters from the Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) — located within the various federal financial regulatory agencies — requesting the company’s “self-assessment” of its diversity policies and practices.

Given this trend, NT Lakis staff prepared a refresher on OMWIs, what they do, and how they have been functioning since the enactment of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), which created OMWIs.

OMWIs are responsible for enforcing two separate and distinct Dodd-Frank provisions.  First, each OMWI is charged with assessing the “diversity policies and practices” of the entities regulated by the agency in which the OMWI is housed, which is why OMWIs are asking regulated entities to voluntarily provide self-assessments.  OMWIs have no authority to require submission of these assessments, and the decision on whether or not to submit a self-assessment is entirely up to the company.

Second, OMWIs are charged with developing standards to assess whether agency contractors have “failed to make a good faith effort to include minorities and women in their workforce.”  The agencies are authorized to apply these standards based on a recommendation from the OMWI director in determining whether a contract should be terminated for failure to comply.

It should be noted that President Trump has ordered the Treasury Department to review Dodd-Frank and any implementing regulations, guidance, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements.  Such a review could at some point in the future have an impact on how OMWIs operate.

Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.