Proposed Trump Administration Rule Invites Discrimination Against LGBTQ Employees

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August 14, 2019

This morning the U.S Department of Labor announced a proposed new rule for federal contractors through its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

The proposed new rule would greatly expand the ability of employers receiving federal contracts to avoid current employment nondiscrimination requirements for religious reasons. The new rule will be published officially in the Federal Register tomorrow, which will begin a 30-day period for submission of public comments on the proposed rule.

The Trump-Pence administration is tripping over itself to greenlight discrimination in the name of religion. Not even 24 hours have passed since last night’s end of the public comment period about its proposal to allow discrimination against patients, specifically including LGBTQ patients. And this morning, they have announced yet another proposal to invite discrimination – this time against workers on publicly funded contracts in the name of religious liberty.

Given the conservative religious affiliations of many large institutional employers that seek federal contracts, we know the most vulnerable workers will be LGBTQ people, Muslim and Jewish people, and other religious minorities.

For more than half a century, the federal purse has been a transformative driver of equal workplace opportunity in this country. And once again, appallingly, this administration is betraying our nation’s core commitment to liberty and justice for all – in service of an extreme, discriminatory religious agenda.

Lambda Legal has filed comments opposing the proposed new health care rule, and will file comments addressing the proposed new contracting rule as well. Lambda Legal also is in litigation currently against the Trump-Pence administration for approving religion-based discrimination in publicly funded child welfare services in South Carolina and Texas, and in health care services nationally. Lambda Legal also continues its challenge to the administration’s baseless and discriminatory ban on open military service by transgender people.