(San Francisco, CA, July 18, 2014)—Today, the White House announced that on Monday President Obama will sign an Executive Order requiring all recipients of federal contracts to have policies that prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Federal contractors employ more than 20 percent of the U.S. workforce, and this historic move will extend crucial protections to millions of employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Executive Order represents a major victory for LGBTQ employees across the country, who remain vulnerable to being harassed, discriminated against, and even fired simply for being who they are. Right now, there is no federal law that explicitly protects LGBTQ individuals from employment discrimination. There are no state laws that expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in 29 states, and no state laws that expressly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in 32 states.
Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:
“We are elated at the announcement by the White House that on Monday the President will sign an Executive Order barring discrimination in employment by federal contractors. For far too long, LGBTQ employees have been subject to open bigotry and negative job actions based on factors that have nothing to do with our ability to do the job. We are confident the President’s leadership on this issue will soon lead us to a day where all LGBTQ employees are protected from rank discrimination on the job.”