OFCCP Updates Final Rule Protecting LGBTQ People From Sex Discrimination

HRC staff

Post submitted by HRC Law Fellow Melissa Wasser

On Tuesday, the Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register setting forth requirements that covered contractors must meet under Executive Order 11246 prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. The Final Rule will go into effect August 15, 2016.  

The Final Rule addresses several sex–based barriers to equal employment and fair pay, including compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, failure to provide workplace accommodations for pregnant workers, and gender identity and family caregiving discrimination.

This Rule specifically prohibits discrimination by federal contractors against workers on the basis of gender identity or sex stereotyping.  Specifically, it requires contractors to allow workers to use bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, and similar facilities consistent with the gender with which the workers identify. The OFCCP revised rule not only provides much needed protection for LGBTQ people working for federal contractors and subcontractors, but also sets an important example of fair and effective personnel policies for private employers.

HRC has consistently supported the adoption of these essential protections and we applaud the Department of Labor for providing this clear guidance to contractors receiving federal tax dollars. Whether in the workplace, healthcare access, public accommodations, or housing, discrimination against LGBTQ people should never be allowed to permeate into our society.

Tuesday's Final Rule makes clear that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on an employee’s gender identity or sex stereotyping, however it does not explicitly protect from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  As HRC stated in letters and throughout the public comment processes, explicit sexual orientation protections are of the utmost necessity to protect all LGBTQ people working for contractors and subcontractors.

HRC applauds the DOL and OFFCP for this clear guidance and for their continued leadership and commitment to improving the lives of LGBTQ workers nationwide. 

To read the rule visit:  https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/sexdiscrimination.html

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