The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Executive Order 10925 - Establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity
March 6, 1961
WHEREAS discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin is contrary to the Constitutional principles and policies of the United States; and 13 CFR 1960 Supp.

WHEREAS it is the plain and positive obligation of the United States Government to promote and ensure equal opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin, employed or seeking employment with the Federal Government and on government contracts; and

WHEREAS it is the policy of the executive branch of the Government to encourage by positive measures equal opportunity for all qualified persons within the Government; and

WHEREAS it is in the general interest and welfare of the United States to promote its economy, security, and national defense through the most efficient and effective utilization of all available manpower; and

WHEREAS a review and analysis of existing Executive orders, practices, and government agency procedures relating to government employment and compliance with existing non-discrimination contract provisions reveal an urgent need for expansion and strengthening of efforts to promote full equality of employment opportunity; and

WHEREAS a single governmental committee should be charged with responsibility for accomplishing these objectives:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

PART I—ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMITTEE ON EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

SECTION 101. There is hereby established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity.

SEC. 102. The Committee shall be composed as follows:

(a) The Vice President of the United States, who is hereby designated Chairman of the Committee and who shall preside at meetings of the Committee.

(b) The Secretary of Labor, who is hereby designated Vice Chairman of the Committee and who shall act as Chairman in the absence of the Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall have general supervision and direction of the work of the Committee and of the execution and implementation of the policies and purposes of this order.

(c) The Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. the Secretary of Commerce, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, the Administrator of General Services, the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Each such member may designate an alternate to represent him in his absence.

(d) Such other members as the President may from time to time appoint.

(e) An Executive Vice Chairman, designated by the President, who shall be ex offlcio a member of the Committee. The Executive Vice Chairman shall assist the Chairman, the Vice Chairman and the Committee. Between meetings of the Committee he shall be primarily responsible for carrying out the functions of the Committee and may act for the Committee pursuant to its rules, delegations and other directives. Final action in individual cases or classes of cases may be taken and final orders may be entered on behalf of the Committee by the Executive Vice Chairman when the Committee so authorizes.

SEC. 103. The Committee shall meet upon the call of the Chairman and at such other times as may be provided by its rules and regulations. It shall (a) consider and adopt rules and regulations to govern its proceedings; (b) provide generally for the procedures and policies to implement this order: (c) consider reports as to progress under this order; (d) consider and act, where necessary or appropriate, upon matters which may be presented to it by any of its members; and (e) make such reports to the President as he may require or the Committee shall deem appropriate. Such reports shall be made at least once annually and shall include specific references to the actions taken and results achieved by each department and agency. The Chairman may appoint subcommittees to make special studies on a continuing basis.

PART II—NONDISCRIMINATION IN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT

SECTION 201. The President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity established by this order is directed immediately to scrutinize and study employment practices of the Government of the United States, and to consider and recommend additional affirmative steps which should be taken by executive departments and agencies to realize more fully the national policy of nondiscrimination within the exeoutive branch of the Government.

SEC. 202. All executive departments and agencies are directed to initiate forthwith studies of current government employment practices within their responsibility. The studies shall be in such form as the Committee may prescribe and shall include statistics on current employment patterns, a review of current procedures, and the recommendation of positive measures for the elimination of any discrimination, direct or indirect, which now exists. Reports and recommendations shall be submitted to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Committee no later than sixty days from the effective date of this order, and the Committee, after considering such reports and recommendations, shall report to the President on the current situation and recommend positive measures to accomplish the objectives of this order.

SEC. 203. The policy expressed in Executive Order No. 10590 of January 18, 1955 (20 F.R. 409) with respect to the exclusion and prohibition of discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment in the Federal Government because of race, color, religion, or national origin is hereby reaffirmed.

SEC. 204. The President's Committee on Government Employment Policy, established by Executive Order No. 10590 of January 18, 1955 (20 F.R. 409), as amended by Executive Order No. 10722 on August 5,1957 (22 F.R. 6287), is hereby abolished, and the powers, functions, and duties of that Committee are hereby transferred to, and henceforth shall be vested in, and exercised by, the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity in addition to the powers conferred by this order.

PART III—OBLIGATIONS OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS AND SUBCONTRACTORS

SUBPART A—CONTRACTORS' AGREEMENTS

SECTION 301. Except in contracts exempted in accordance with section 303 of this order, all government contracting agencies shall include in every government contract hereafter entered into the following provisions:

"In connection with the performance of work under this contract, the contractor agrees as follows:

"(1) The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. Such action shall include, but not be limited to, the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer; recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship. The contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices to be provided by the contracting officer setting forth the provisions of this nondiscrimination clause.

"(2) The contractor will, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the contractor, state that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin.

"(3) The contractor will send to each labor union or representative of workers with which he has a collective bargaining agreement or other contract or understanding, a notice, to be provided by the agency contracting officer, advising the said labor union or workers' representative of the contractor's commitments under this section, and shall post copies of the notice in conspicuous places available to employees and applicants for employment.

"(4) The contractor will comply with all provisions of Executive Order No. 10925 of March 6, 1961, and of the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity created thereby.

"(5) The contractor will furnish all information and reports required by Executive Order No. 10925 of March 6, 1961, and by the rules, regulations, and orders of the said Committee, or pursuant thereto, and will permit access to his books, records, and accounts by the contracting agency and the Committee for purposes of investigation to ascertain compliance with sueh rules, regulations, and orders.

"(6) In the event of the contractor's non-compliance with the nondiscrimination clauses of this contract or with any of the said rules, regulations, or orders, this contract may be cancelled in whole or in part and the contractor may be declared ineligible for further government contracts in accordance with procedures authorized in Executive Order No. 10925 of March 6, 1961, and such other sanctions may be imposed and remedies invoked as provided in the said Executive order or by rule, regulation, or order of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, or as otherwise provided by law.

" (7) The contractor will include the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs (1) through (6) in every subcontract or purchase order unless exempted by rules, regulations, or orders of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity issued pursuant to section 303 of Executive Order No. 10925 of March 6, 1961, so that such provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor. The contractor will take such action with respect to any subcontract or purchase order as the contracting agency may direct as a means of enforcing such provisions, including sanctions for noncompliance: Provided, however, that in the event the contractor becomes involved in, or is threatened with, litigation with a subcontractor or vendor as a result of such direction by the contracting agency, the contractor may request the United States to enter into such litigation to protect the interests of the United States."

SEC. 302. (a) Each contractor having a contract containing the provisions prescribed in section 301shall file, and shall cause each of its subcontractors to file Compliance Reports with the contracting agency, which will be subject to review by the Committee upon its request. Compliance Reports shall be filed within such times and shall contain such information as to the practices, policies, programs, and employment statistics of the contractor and each subcontractor, and shall be in such form, as the Committee may prescribe.

(b) Bidders or prospective contractors or subcontractors may be required to state whether they have participated in any previous contract subject to the provisions of this order, and in that event to submit, on behalf of themselves and their proposed subcontractors, Compliance Reports prior to or as an initial part of their bid or negotiation of a contract.

(c) Whenever the contractor or subcontractor has a collective bargaining agreement or other contract or understanding with a labor union or other representative of workers, the Compliance Report shall include such information as to the labor union's or other representative's practices and policies affecting compliance as the Committee may prescribe: Provided, that to the extent such information is within the exclusive possession of a labor union or other workers' representative and the labor union or representative shall refuse to furnish such information to the contractor, the contractor shall so certify to the contracting agency as part of its Compliance Report and shall set forth what efforts he has made to obtain such information.

(d) The Committee may direct that any bidder or prospective contractor or subcontractor shall submit, as part of his Compliance Report, a statement in writing, signed by an authorized officer or agent of any labor union or other workers' representative with which the bidder or prospective contractor deals, together with supporting information, to the effect that the said labor union's or representative's practices and policies do not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, creed, or national origin, and that the labor union or representative either will affirmatively cooperate, within the limits of his legal and contractual authority, in the implementation of the policy and provisions of this order or that it consents and agrees that recruitment, employment, and the terms and conditions of employment under the proposed contract shall be in accordance with the purposes and provisions of the order. In the event that the union or representative shall refuse to execute such a statement, the Compliance Report shall so certify and set forth what efforts have been made to secure such a statement.

SEC. 303. The Committee may, when it deems that special circumstances in the national interest so require, exempt a contracting agency from the requirement of including the provisions of section 301 of this order in any specific contract, subcontract, or purchase order. The Committee may, by rule or regulation, also exempt certain classes of contracts, subcontracts, or purchase orders (a) where work is to be or has been performed outside the United States and no recruitment of workers within the limits of the United States is involved; (b) for standard commercial supplies or raw materials; or (c) involving less than specified amounts of money or specified numbers of workers.

SUBPART B—LABOR UNIONS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF WORKERS

SEC. 304. The Committee shall use its best efforts, directly and through contracting agencies, contractors, state and local officials and public and private agencies, and all other available instrumentalities, to cause any labor union, recruiting agency or other representative of workers who is or may be engaged in work under Government contracts to cooperate with, and to comply in the implementation of, the purposes of this order.

SEC. 305. The Committee may, to effectuate the purposes of section 304 of this order, hold hearings, public or private, with respect to the practices and policies of any such labor organization. It shall from time to time submit special reports to the President concerning discriminatory practices and policies of any such labor organization, and may recommend remedial action if, in its judgment, such action is necessary or appropriate. It may also notify any Federal, state, or local agency of its conclusions and recommendations with respect to any such labor organization which in its judgment has failed to cooperate with the Committee, contracting agencies, contractors, or subcontractors in carrying out the purposes of this order.

SUBPART C—POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENTS COMMITTEE ON EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY AND OF CONTRACTING AGENCIES

SEC. 306. The Committee shall adopt such rules and regulations and issue such orders as it deems necessary and appropriate to achieve the purposes of this order, including the purposes of Part II hereof relating to discrimination in Government employment.

SEC. 307. Each contracting agency shall be primarily responsible for obtaining compliance with the rules, regulations, and orders of the Committee with respect to contracts entered into by such agency or its contractors, or affecting its own employment practices. All contracting agencies shall comply with the Committee's rules in discharging their primary responsibility for securing compliance with the provisions of contracts and otherwise with the terms of this Executive order and of the rules, regulations, and orders of the Committee pursuant hereto. They are directed to cooperate with the Committee, and to furnish the Committee such information and assistance as it may require in the performance of its functions under this order. They are further directed to appoint or designate, from among the agency's personnel compliance officers. It shall be the duty of such officers to seek compliance with the objectives of this order by conference, conciliation, mediation, or persuasion.

SEC. 308. The Committee is authorized to delegate to any officer, agency, or employee in the executive branch of the Government any function of the Committee under this order, except the authority to promulgate rules and regulations of a general nature.

SEC. 309. (a) The Committee may itself investigate the employment practices of any Government contractor or subcontractor, or initiate such investigation by the appropriate contracting agency or through the Secretary of Labor, to determine whether or not the contractual provisions specified in section 301 of this order have been violated. Such investigation shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures established by the Committee, and the investigating agency shall report to the Committee any action taken or recommended.

(b) The Committee may receive and cause to be investigated complaints by employees or prospective employees of a Government contractor or subcontractor which allege discrimination contrary to the contractual provisions specified in section 301 of this order. The appropriate contracting agency or the Secretary of Labor, as the case may be, shall report to the Committee what action has been taken or is recommended with regard to such complaints.

SEC. 310. (a) The Committee, or any agency or officer of the United States designated by rule, regulation, or order of the Committee, may hold such hearings, public or private, as the Committee may deem advisable for compliance, enforcement, or educational purposes.

(b) The Committee may hold, or cause to be held, hearings in accordance with subsection (a) of this section prior to imposing, ordering, or recommending the imposition of penalties and sanctions under this order, except that no order for debarment of any contractor from further government contracts shall be made without a hearing.

SEC. 311. The Committee shall encourage the furtherance of an educational program by employer, labor, civic, educational, religious, and other nongovernmental groups in order to eliminate or reduce the basic causes of discrimination in employment on the ground of race, creed, color, or national origin.

SUBPART D—SANCTIONS AND PENALTIES

SEC. 312. In accordance with such rules, regulations or orders as the Committee may issue or adopt, the Committee or the appropriate contracting agency may:

(a) Publish, or cause to be published, the names of contractors or unions which it has concluded have complied or have failed to comply with the provisions of this order or of the rules, regulations, and orders of the Committee.

(b) Recommend to the Department of Justice that, in cases where there is substantial or material violation or the threat of substantial or material violation of the contractual provisions set forth in section 301 of this order, appropriate proceedings be brought to enforce those provisions, including the enjoining, within the limitations of applicable law, of organizations, individuals or groups who prevent directly or indirectly, or seek to prevent directly or indirectly, compliance with the aforesaid provisions.

(c) Recommend to the Department of Justice that criminal proceedings be brought for the furnishing of false information to any contracting agency or to the Committee as the case may be.

(d) Terminate, or cause to be terminated, any contract, or any portion or portions thereof, for failure of the contractor or subcontractor to comply with the nondiscrimination provisions of the contract. Contracts may be terminated absolutely or continuance of contracts may be conditioned upon a program for future compliance approved by the contracting agency.

(e) Provide that any contracting agency shall refrain from entering into further contracts, or extensions or other modifications of existing contracts, with any non-complying contractor, until such contractor has satisfied the Committee that he has established and will carry out personnel and employment policies in compliance with the provisions of this order.

(f) Under rules and regulations prescribed by the Committee, each contracting agency shall make reasonable efforts within a reasonable time limitation to secure compliance with the contract provisions of this order by methods of conference, conciliation, mediation, and persuasion before proceedings shall be instituted under paragraph (b) of this section, or before a contract shall be terminated in whole or in part under paragraph (d) of this section for failure of a contractor or subcontractor to comply with the contract provisions of this order.

SEC. 313. Any contracting agency taking any action authorized by this section, whether on its own motion, or as directed by the Committee, or under the Committee's rules and regulations, shall promptly notify the Committee of such action or reasons for not acting. Where the Committee itself makes a determination under this section it shall promptly notify the appropriate contracting agency of the action recommended. The agency shall take such action and shall report the results thereof to the Committee within such time as the Committee shall provide.

SEC. 314. If the Committee shall so direct, contracting agencies shall not enter into contracts with any bidder or prospective contractor unless the bidder or prospective contractor has satisfactorily complied with the provisions of this order or submits a program for compliance acceptable to the Committee or, if the Committee so authorizes, to the contracting agency.

SEC. 315. Whenever a contracting agency terminates a contract, or whenever a contractor has been debarred from further Government contracts, because of noncompliance with the contractor provisions with regard to nondiscrimination, the Committee, or the contracting agency involved, shall promptly notify the Comptroller General of the United States.

SUBPART E—CERTIFICATES OF MERIT

SEC. 316. The Committee may provide for issuance of a United States Government Certificate of Merit to employers or employee organizations which are or may hereafter be engaged in work under Government contracts, if the Committee is satisfied that the personnel and employment practices of the employer, or that the personnel, training apprenticeship, membership, grievance and representation, upgrading and other practices and policies of the employee organization, conform to the purposes and provisions of this order.

SEC. 317. Any Certiflcate of Merit may at any time be suspended or revoked by the Committee if the holder thereof, in the judgment of the Committee, has failed to comply with the provisions of this order.

SEC. 318. The Committee may provide for the exemption of any employer or employee organization from any requirement for furnishing information as to compliance if such employer or employee organization has been awarded a Certiflcate of Merit which has not been suspended or revoked.

PART IV—MISCELLANEOUS

SECTION 401. Each contracting agency (except the Department of Justice) shall defray such necessary expenses of the Committee as may be authorized by law, including section 214 of the Act of May 3, 1945, 59 Stat. 134 (31 U.S.C. 691): Provided, that no agency shall supply more than flfty per cent of the funds necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Department of Labor shall provide necessary space and facilities for the Committee. In the case of the Department of Justice, the contribution shall be limited to furnishing legal services.

SEC. 402. This order shall become effective thirty days after its execution. The General Services Administration shall take appropriate action to revise the standard Government contract forms to accord with the provisions of this order and of the rules and regulations of the Committee.

SEC. 403. Executive Order No.10479 of August 13, 1953 (18 F.R. 4899) together with Executive Orders Nos. 10482 of August 15, 1953 (18 F.R. 4944), and 10733 of October 10, 1957 (22 F.R. 8135) amending that order, and Executive Order No. 10557 of September 3, 1954 (19 F.R. 5655), are hereby revoked, and the Government Contract Committee established by Executive Order No. 10479 is abolished. All records and property of or in the custody of the said Committee are hereby transferred to the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, which shall wind up the outstanding affairs of the Government Contract Committee.

JOHN F. KENNEDY
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 6, 1961

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Executive Order 10925 - Establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity", March 6, 1961. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=58863.
 
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