President Obama Signs Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers
On July 21, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order extending workplace protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) Americans in the federal contracting workforce.
Executive Order (“EO”) 11246 already protects workers employed by or seeking jobs with federal contractors and subcontractors from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Through this action, President Obama amended EO 11246 to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) will be tasked with implementing this EO by issuing regulations within 90 days.
As of now, there is no indication as to whether the OFCCP will require contractors to collect data on, or even take affirmative action in the employment of, LGBT individuals, or if the provisions will merely require non-discrimination.
Proposed regulations on the topic are scheduled to be announced in October 2014. The new requirements would apply to contracts that are entered into on or after the effective date of the final regulations.
We will continue to monitor for further developments.