The U.S. Department of Labor on December 3, 2014 announced a new rule prohibiting discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal contracting workforce. The rule implements Executive Order 13672, which was signed by President Obama on July 21, 2014.
EO 13672 tasked the DOL with updating the rules implementing EO 11246 to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects. July's executive order was the first federal action to restrict LGBT discrimination in the private sector.
The final rule will become effective 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register and will apply to federal contracts entered into or modified on or after that date. The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2014. More information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/LGBT/.
In addition to EO 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, which require contractors and subcontractors that do business with the federal government not to discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, status as a protected veteran, and now sexual orientation and gender identity.
Timothy M. McConville leads the labor and employment group at the law firm of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. in Reston, Virginia. Mr. McConville may be reached at 703-218-2119 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at laborandemploymentlawcocktail.com and on Twitter @worklawguy.