On July 21, 2014, President Obama amended Executive Order (EO) 11478 to prohibit discrimination against federal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As a result, contractors must take affirmative action to ensure that applicants and employees are treated during all employment processes without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Contractors also must amend job advertisements and solicitations to state that their equal employment opportunity policy has expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Finally, contractors must amend the non-discrimination clause in all vendor subcontracts to explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The EO will apply to all contracts entered into on or after the effective date of the final regulations, which are currently being prepared by the Department of Labor.

ACTION ITEM

Federal contractors must amend all existing equal employment opportunity, anti-harassment, and non-discrimination policies, including all relevant policies in vendor subcontracts, to explicitly prohibit discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Moreover, federal contractors must add language to all job solicitations and advertisements stating that the contractors do not discriminate against applicants or employees based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.