The White House announced on Monday that the President will sign an executive order restricting all federal contractors from discriminating against employees and applicants on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is an historic expansion of workplace rights affecting gay and lesbian rights in the workplace. The Executive Order is expected to be issued in the next several weeks.

This executive order is a partial solution to the inability of Congress to pass the long debated Employment NonDiscrimination Act (“ENDA”) which would extend Title VII protection to gay, lesbian and bisexual workers and applicants. This Executive Order will only apply to federal contractors.