On January 31, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would leave in place a 2014 Executive Order signed by President Obama that created workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers.
President Obama’s order protects all employees and applicants of federal contractors from sexual orientation and gender-identity discrimination. Though protections had already been in place protecting federal workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the 2014 order was the first time the government extended protection to federal workers from discrimination based on gender identity. Additionally, it is the first order to ban discrimination in federal contracts for all LGBT workers.
Notably, President Obama’s order does not include an exemption for employers that are affiliated with religious organizations. The White House did not comment on whether President Trump would issue further executive orders that might create such an exemption.
Employers with federal contracts should review their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the 2014 order. MSEC will continue to report on developments in this area.