Government contractors in Louisiana should take note of the upcoming effective date of the state’s recently-signed antidiscrimination law. In April of 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed Executive Order JBE 2016 – 11, which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, among individuals in other protected classes, from discrimination. As of July 1, 2016, the order will apply to businesses that provide contractual services to the state of Louisiana and its agencies (while most of the order’s other protections became effective when the governor signed the order).

The order provides that state agencies, departments, offices, commissions, boards, entities, and officers of the state shall not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, political affiliation, disability, or age. The order extends antidiscrimination protection to services, benefits, and employment provided by the state.

In addition, the order provides that members of the protected classes must be afforded antidiscrimination protection in the process of awarding contracts for purchase of services by state agencies, departments, offices, commissions, boards, entities, and officers of the state. The order requires that all contracts awarded for the purchase of services by the state must include a provision that any contracting party will not discriminate in any matter relating to employment as it pertains to any of the previously noted protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

The order does not apply to any contractor or subcontractor that is a religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution, or religious society.