New executive orders and OFCCP rules for federal contractors
Executive Order 11478
On July 21, President Obama issued Executive Order 11478, in relevant part, to prohibit federal contractors and subcontractors (government contractors) from discriminating against their employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Executive Order 11478 amends Executive Order 11246, which already provided protection to employees based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin.
Additionally, the new amendment requires federal contractors to:
Take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and employees are treated during employment without regard to their sexual orientation and gender identity;
Amend job advertisements and solicitations for advancement to state that all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity; and
Revise the nondiscrimination clause in their vendor and supplier subcontracts to ban sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.
Although the order is effective immediately, the Secretary of Labor has 90 days from the date of the order to issue regulations outlining employers’ obligations under the order. As such, contractors should commence reviewing their policies and contracts in the interim to identify which ones will need to be changed once the final regulations are implemented.
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