As pre-announced on December 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) latest Final Rule was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2014. Under the Executive Order (EO) 13672 Final Rule, effective April 8, 2015, Federal contractors and subcontractors will be prohibited from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Final Rule was issued without prior notice or public comment.
Some of the features of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Final Rule are:
- Contractors will not be required to ask applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Although some state and local laws prohibit contractors from asking applicants and employees about sexual orientation or gender identity, the Final Rule will not prohibit contractors from asking applicants and employees to voluntarily self-identify sexual orientation or gender identity.
- OFCCP’s August 19, 2014 Directive 2014-02, Gender Identity and Sex Discrimination, will not be affected by the new Final Rule, which will give sexual orientation the same protected status that EO 13672 gives to gender identity and sex discrimination.
- Contractors will not be required to conduct any data analysis with respect to sexual orientation or gender identity of applicants or employees.
- All new and modified Federal contracts on or after April 8, 2015 will be subject to EO 13672’s terms and conditions.
Not mentioned in OFCCP’s News Releases, FAQs or webpage text is that OFCCP and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are working together to incorporate OFCCP’s Final Rule LGBT language into the Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law poster. OFCCP related this information during a December 5th webinar about the LGBT Final Rule. Even though EO 13672 applies solely to those who have contracts with the Federal government, EEOC will require ALL employers to post the newly updated poster.
The FAQs for OFCCP’s Executive Order 13672 (LGBT) Final Rule provide more in-depth information about the Final Rule.
For those who want to read more about the LGBT Final Rule, an OFCCP webpage includes links to the Final Rule itself, the Executive Orders linked to it, as well as other resources.
OFCCP’s December 3rd News Release follows in its entirety:
OFCCP News Release: [12/03/2014]
Contact Name: Laura McGinnis or Michael Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-4653 or x6588
Email: McGinnis.Laura.K@dol.gov or Trupo.Michael@dol.gov
Release Number: 14-1942-NAT
Final rule to protect workers from discrimination based
on sexual orientation and gender identity announced by US Labor Department
WASHINGTON — A new rule prohibiting discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity in the federal contracting workforce is being announced today by the U.S. Department of Labor. The rule implements Executive Order 13672, which was signed by President Obama on July 21.
“Americans believe in fairness and opportunity. No one should live in fear of being fired or passed over or discriminated against at work simply because of who they are or who they love,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Laws prohibiting workplace discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity are long overdue, and we’re taking a big step forward today to fix that.”
EO 13672 tasked the department with updating the rules implementing EO 11246 to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects. While 18 states, the District of Columbia and many businesses, large and small, already offer workplace protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, July’s executive order was the first federal action to ensure LGBT workplace equality in the private sector.
“We are building on the work of presidents and members of Congress from both parties who have expanded opportunities for America’s workers,” said Patricia A. Shiu, director of the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which will enforce the new requirements. “This rule will extend protections to millions of workers who are employed by or seek jobs with federal contractors and subcontractors, ensuring that sexual orientation and gender identity are never used as justification for workplace discrimination by those that profit from taxpayer dollars.”
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. 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. These three laws require contractors and subcontractors that do business with the federal government to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not 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.
For general information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.