The Department of Labor will soon issue a final rule implementing Executive Order 13672, signed on July 21, 2014, which prohibits employment discrimination against federal employees and contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The executive order amends Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from engaging in discrimination against their employees, by incorporating the phrase: "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity" into various portions of E.O. 11246 where other protected categories are listed.
In a press release announcing the new implementing rule, the DOL notes "[w]hile 18 states, the District of Columbia and many businesses, large and small, already offer workplace protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, July's executive order was the first federal action to ensure LGBT workplace equality in the private sector."
The final rule will take effect 120 days after publication in the Federal Register – which is scheduled for December 5, 2014 – and will apply to federal contracts entered into or modified on or after that date.
A set of frequently asked questions on the final rule can be found here. Notably, the FAQ expressly states that the final rule "does not require contractors to conduct any data analysis with respect to the sexual orientation or gender identity of their applicants or employees," nor will it require employees to self-identify their sexual orientation or gender identity.