Obama to Sign Executive Order Banning Anti-LGBT Employment Discrimination by Federal Contractors: Lambda Legal Awaits Language

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July 18, 2014
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Today, the White House announced that on Monday President Obama will sign an executive order banning discrimination against LGBT workers by federal contractors.

We applaud the Obama administration for taking this important step towards protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors. Like many presidents before him, President Obama is taking action to ensure that taxpayer money is not wasted on workplace discrimination or harassment.

This executive order will provide explicit protection against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination for one-fifth of the country’s workforce.  This is a tremendous step forward because so many workers live in states without effective legal protections and the federal employment protections for LGBT workers are not explicit. This executive order will ensure that there are at least some workplaces in every state with explicit, legally binding protections for LGBT Americans.

The Executive Order also will make explicit the protection against gender identity discrimination for federal government employees. This will clarify that Executive Branch policies are consistent with federal court decisions and the position of the EEOC.  Clarity and consistency about nondiscrimination requirements are crucial.  It is important that employees have a remedy when they endure discrimination, but what the employee and everyone else really want is for the discrimination not to occur in the first place, and the Executive Order’s clear language furthers that goal..

But there is more work to be done. From the thousands of calls for help that Lambda Legal gets each year, we know that workplace discrimination is one of the most frequent problems that LGBT people face. We look forward to seeing the language of the executive order and to working with the Obama administration both to implement its important protections and then for passage of legislation to eliminate workplace discrimination against all LGBT Americans.

Read the press release.