The Department of Labor has announced the release of a Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13672, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors and subcontractors. Executive Order 13672, signed by President Obama on July 21, 2014, amended Executive Order 11246 by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected categories provided in the latter EO. The Final Rule will be effective 120 days after the date of its official publication in the Federal Register and will apply to government contracts entered into or modified after the effective date.
Affirmative action obligations under the Final Rule requires contractors to include an updated equal opportunity clause in new or modified subcontracts and purchase orders, ensure that applicants and employees are treated without regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity, and update the equal opportunity language used in job solicitations and workplace notices. The Final Rule does not require contractors to collect data and set placement goals based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of applicants or employees, nor does it require contractors to conduct data analysis regarding compensation, hiring, or other employment practices on those protected bases. Moreover, the Final Rule does not require employers to ask applicants or employees to voluntarily self-identify their LGBT status.
Assuming a December 2014 publication date in the Federal Register, contractors can anticipate an April 2015 effective date for the Final Rule. Contractors may, however, begin to implement updates before the effective date of the Final Rule.