This final rule published by the U.S. Department of Labor implements Executive Order 13672 issued by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2014, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and based on gender identity by all federal contractors and subcontractors.
That Executive Order 13672 amends Executive Order 11246 which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin by all federal contractors and subcontractors. The original executive order also required all federal contractors to take affirmative measures to prevent the prohibited discrimination from occurring. Executive Order 13672 includes a similar requirement on federal contractors to take affirmative measures to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and based on gender identity from occurring.
The rule applies to all contractors and subcontractors with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal departments and agencies involved in the provision of health care services.
While this federal government executive action will prohibit employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees working for federal contractors and subcontractors, 29 states still do not prohibit employment discrimination based on gender identity (states in lightest color and light green on map below) and 32 states still do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation (states in lightest color on map below). A federal bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has been pending in Congress since 1994 and was passed by the Senate in 2013 but did not advance to a floor vote in the House of Representatives, despite having 205 House members as co-sponsors. The bill has yet to be re-introduced into the 114th Congress.