Earlier this month, the Labor Department announced a regulation that would protect federal contractors’ employees, roughly 20% of the American workforce, from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. President Obama signed the executive order back in July, amending an order issued by President Bill Clinton banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal workforce. It would prohibit federal contractors from firing, disciplining or not hiring an employee based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
Eighteen states already offer workplace anti-discrimination protections, but this now covers the entire country. In 2011, the Human Rights Campaign conducted a poll which found that over 70% of likely voters, regardless of age, race, and political ideology, are in support of what this regulation stands for.
It becomes effective four months after publication in the Federal Register, a legal newspaper published by the federal government, only a few days after the Labor Department announced the rule. A Labor Department official remarked “we are building on the work of presidents and members of Congress from both parties who have expanded opportunities for America’s workers.”
It is great to see an America that no longer tolerates workplace sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, especially when it’s undertaken by a bipartisan Congress.
Posted December 29, 2014