Home Depot Is Declining Business with the U.S. Federal Government-Truth! But Decision Reversed!

Home Depot Is Declining Business with the U.S. Federal GovernmentPreviously Truth! Decision Reversed!



Summary of eRumor:

The message is in the form of a series of emails from people who say they’ve had personal contact with Home Depot stores that are refusing purchases by anyone from government offices or with government contracts.  Some of the reports claim they’ve been told it is because of opposition to U.S. policy regarding Iraq.  

The Truth:

This is a puzzling story.  Home Depot confirmed at the beginning of June, 2002 that it was not doing business with the U.S. government or any government contractors, but denied it had anything to do with Iraq.

A statement on the Home Depot website said “Since we have never been a federally approved contractor, our intent was to re-state our existing policy for our stores and associates and remind them of their responsibilities in complying with related rules.”  Whatever that meant.

Then later in June, 2002, Home Depot issued a statement saying it was going to pursue government business.  The statement said the change in position was based on “feedback
from its associates, customers and a further evaluation of the systems and administrative requirements necessary to become a federal contractor.”

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) tried to make sense of it too.  They said that Home Depot had said it was actually not a new policy but that letters to stores about the decision had been sent only in the weeks before it became a public controversy.  The NECA said that commercial credit card customers were receiving notices with their June bills asking that they not make purchases that would make Home Depot compliant with three Federal laws.  The first was an Executive Order from the era of President Johnson in 1965 that prohibited government contractors from discriminating in employment applications on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  The second was a section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that said that federal contractors and subcontractors with government contracts in excess of $10,000 were required to take affirmative action to “employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.”  The third was the Veterans´ Readjustment Assistance Act (1974) that said that contractors and subcontractors with contracts of $25,000 or more must “provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.”

The NECA said that government employees and contractors who had previously done business with Home Depot were finding themselves turned away. 

In 2003 Home Depot released details of what the company had done to be supportive of the troops in Iraq.  That included extending leaves of absence for 1,800 employees who have been deployed, assuring them of jobs when they return home, equalizing their pay differential, and keeping health benefits in force for their families.  Home Depot said that in 2004 it also donated $1 million in tools and materials to support the U.S. military efforts in Iraq, in 2003-2004 donated 1 million hours of volunteer service along with another $1 million to help military families with home repairs, and in 2005 donated $250,000 to help refurbish 10 USO centers in the United States.
Last updated 3/4/06