The Department of Labor published regulations last week that will make it unlawful for federal contractors to discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  The regulations will become effective in early April, 120 days after being published in the Federal Register. 

Not as Burdensome as Some Had Feared

OFCCP has had a busy year with new regulations that impose several additional burdens on federal contractors.  Many feared OFCCP would use this latest round of regulations to pile on additional burdens.  Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.  Unlike the recent changes with respect to protected veterans and individuals with disabilities, the sexual orientation and gender identity regulations do not involve additional solicitation, data analysis or outreach requirements.  Nor is there a need to revise required notice provisions in subcontracts and purchase orders so long as the federal contractor is incorporating the EO clause by reference.  Instead, compliance with these new regulations really comes down to updating  applicable workplace policies and postings and ensuring all personnel understand that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is unlawful.

OFCCP Webinar and FAQ Page

OFCCP will be providing an overview of the new regulations in webinars over the next several weeks.  The first is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9.  Registration is available here.  The agency has also initiated an FAQ page that will likely be updated as it receives questions from contractors.