Among the flood of executive orders coming from the White House recently, is one protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender federal contractors and employees. Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order that protects federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and federal employees from discrimination based on gender identity. (Federal employees have been protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation since President Clinton’s executive order in 1998 seen here.)
President Johnson first signed an executive order in 1965 to protect federal contractors from discrimination. Then in 2002, President George W. Bush added a religious exception to that order which allowed religious organizations to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. Notably, the most recent executive order does not provide any such religious exemption.
We should expect to see regulations from the Secretary of Labor within three months to facilitate the implementation of this order.
If you have any questions regarding the discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, please contact any of the attorneys at Royal LLP at (413) 586-2288.