Final Rule prohibits sexual orientation, gender identity discrimination

President Obama signed an Executive Order that would prevent federal contractors from discriminating against potential employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, in addition to the characteristics that are already protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Earlier this month, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs finally released information outlining how it will implement that Order, which will help prevent discrimination toward the LGBT community. The Final Rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register, but once it has, federal contractors will have 120 days to adjust any job application materials in order to comply with the new anti-discrimination laws. Federal contractors must make sure applicants know that they are equal-opportunity employers by posting an updated “EEO is the Law” poster in the workplace, and must state that they are EEO employers in any job advertisements. They should also update subcontracts and any hiring policies to include the new language. While the Executive Order doesn’t apply to private businesses (only federal contractors), the Final Rule comes on the heels of the EEOC’s first transgender discrimination lawsuits in private business, in which the EEOC argues that gender identity discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. Contractors can view the Department of Labor’s FAQ on the OFCCP’s ruling for more information about the Final Rule.]]>

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