Section 26.7 What Discriminatory Actions Are Forbidden?
One commenter wanted to add prohibitions of discrimination based on age, disability and religion. The Department is not doing so, because discrimination on these grounds is already prohibited by other statutes (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to disability). Also, statutes which form the basis for this rule focus on race, color, national origin, and sex. Congress determined that remedial action focused on these areas is necessary. These grounds for discrimination are also most relevant to problems in the DBE program that have been alleged to exist (e.g., disparate treatment of DBE certification applicants by race or sex). Some opponents of the program said that the DBE program discriminates against non-DBEs. However, the Department believes that the program is constitutional and does not violate equal protection requirements. A reference to DOT Title VI regulations has been deleted as unnecessary; otherwise, this provision is the same as in the SNPRM.