Working at the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs isn’t typically glamorous. Red carpets and paparazzi don’t usually factor into my life – I’m more of a Little League and spa-day kind of mom.
However, at OFCCP, we do have stars that captivate us and command our full attention. They are ordinary people who want nothing more complicated than the right to find, secure and succeed in good jobs. And it’s my privilege to try and empower them by educating all Americans about how OFCCP protects workers, promotes diversity and enforces the laws which require equal employment opportunity for all – no exceptions, no excuses (as I tell my kids).
So today, I’m excited to invite you to the world premiere of Opening Doors, a short film that tells the story of OFCCP through the eyes of three individuals: Leroy, a construction worker who was denied a job because of his race; Janice, a store clerk with a disability who needed a reasonable accommodation for her work station; and George, an Air Force vet who faced retaliation from an employer simply for inquiring about his rights under the law. In this mini-documentary, you will learn about each of these people and how OFCCP successfully defended their rights in the workplace.
I am proud to work for an agency like OFCCP, one which enforces the civil rights of the nearly one-quarter of American workers who are employed by or seek jobs with federal contractors and subcontractors. Since the beginning of the Obama administration, we’ve taken important steps to strengthen our enforcement and update our regulations. We’ve also made worker education and community engagement a priority. I hope this film will be a useful tool in that effort. So, please take a few minutes to watch and share this with your friends and family.
After more than two years at OFCCP, I’ve learned a plain truth: when workers know their rights and when employers know their responsibilities, America’s workplaces become fairer. And that makes my job pretty glamorous after all.
Editor’s Note: The author, Renee Tajudeen directs outreach at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.