Quick review of new LGBT anti-discrimination regulations
Day to day, Americans are being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has not had sufficient protection from the federal government. However, steps have been taken to aid in this endeavor and President Obama has furthered his commitment to diversity and workplace equality. On July 21, 2014 President Obama signed Executive Order 13672 prohibiting the discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The final rule, published in the federal register on December 9, 2014, amends Executive Order 11246 to specifically add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to its protected categories. With this new rule, LGBT workers will have the same protection as those of any protected class members in the federal contractor workforce.
The effective date of the final rule is April 8, 2015, 120 days after publication. Covered contracts ($10,000 or more) entered into or modified on or after April 8, 2015 are subject to the new final rule. With that said, the new rule and effective date does not change the fact that contractors are currently prohibited from discriminating on the bases of gender identity and transgender status. Directive 2014-02, issued in August 2014, provides guidance that under the existing regulations of Executive Order 11246, discrimination on these bases would be considered a form of sex discrimination, as was determined in the case, Macy vs. Holder. So then how exactly does the new rule and effective date impact you as a federal contractor? Let’s look at the specific changes to the regulations.
Beginning on April 8, 2015 (or before), federal contractors will be required to add “sexual orientation and gender identity” in the following areas:
• Equal Opportunity Clause included in purchase orders and contracts (entered into or modified on or after April 8, 2015)
• EEO Tagline (only needs to be added where the tagline lists out all protected categories. No changes are needed if using the abbreviated version, “Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled”
• ‘EEO is the Law’ Poster – The OFCCP and EEOC are working to update the poster. You may continue to use the current poster until a new one becomes available.
• EEO/AA Policy Statement
• All areas listing out the protected categories
The new final rule does not change the affirmative action program requirements. There will not be a requirement to establish goals related to sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition there is no requirement for data collection or updating voluntary Self-ID forms.
In essence, the new final rule simply adds the needed protection for the LGBT workforce without much burden on federal contractors. The message remains the same, non-discrimination in all areas of employment to strengthen workplace equality.
OutSolve, Affirmative Action Plan Consultants