On July 21, 2014 President Obama signed Executive Order 13672. The order went into effect immediately, but the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs just released new resources to assist contractors in complying with the new requirements.
It’s a useful resource center, as President Obama’s new requirements for federal contractors go beyond the current expectations for private sector employers. Executive Order 13672 bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers, and specifically includes sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in Executive Order 11246.
While the Executive Order introduces new requirements, it shouldn’t really produce new obligations for the majority of federal contractors. Most comply with similar anti-discrimination standards already. When it comes to implementing the guidelines, keep these tips in mind:
1. Ensure your hiring practices are welcome to all protected categories, including LGBT-persons.
2. Update affirmative action plans.
3. Ensure facilities (restrooms, dressing areas), are not segregated on the basis of sexual orientation.
The rule does NOT require new or additional records keeping or ‘goals’ based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There is also no requirement for federal contractors to self-identify sexual orientation in applications.