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News from the Whitehouse: New Executive Order on LGBT Issues

News from the Whitehouse:  On July 21, 2014, President Obama issued a new Executive Order expanding LGBT anti-discrimination protections.  Executive Order 13672 specifically expands protections for persons suffering from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The new Executive Order modified two prior anti-discrimination executive orders, Executive Order 11246 and Executive Order 11478.  E.O. 11246 prohibits discrimination by federal government contractors against their employees.  Under E.O. 11246 and its implementing regulations, the Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs OFCCP).  OFCCP  investigates allegations of discrimination by government contractors and can punish them through debarment from federal contracting and other penalties, but does not have the authority to provide individual relief for employees.  President Obama's new Executive Order adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of bases of discrimination subject to OFCCP enforcement on government contractors. 

E.O. 11478 is part of the legal structure prohibiting discrimination in the federal workforce.  E.O. 11478 has been amended several times since its issuance in 1969, in particular to expand the list of categories of prohibited discrimination.  President Obama's new Executive Order adds gender identity to that list (sexual orientation was previously added to E.O. 11478 by President Clinton in 1998).  Many federal agencies administer internal complaints processes for handling complaints of discrimination prohibited by E.O. 11478--although those complaints cannot usually then be taken into court or to the EEOC in the same way as an ordinary EEO complaint.

If you are a federal employee or employee of a federal contractor and believe that you have suffered discrimination, and wish to discuss your rights, consider contacting Passman & Kaplan, P.C. to request an initial consultation.

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