Trump Breaks Tradition With Microsoft-Wells Fargo Race Inquiry

Donald Trump

Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg

A U.S. inquiry into whether Microsoft Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. broke workplace civil rights laws by seeking to double their ranks of Black leaders is at odds with normal Labor Department practice, including the enforcement of a decades-old executive order on affirmative action, legal experts said.

The executive order, issued the year after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, requires that federal contractors maintain affirmative action outreach efforts while barring discrimination in hiring, and contrasts with a recent order by President Donald Trump against “divisive” discussions of race in corporate training.

The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs cited the 1965 order in a letter to Microsoft asking how the software maker would meet its commitment to beef up Black leadership “without discriminating on the basis of race.”

More than half a century after the order was issued, African-American representation

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