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By: Joyce Mocek
On December 9, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) published a Final Rule implementing Executive Order 13672 which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as it relates to federal contractors and subcontractors. President Obama signed Executive Order 13672, which amended Executive Order 11246, this summer. The Final Rule requires contractors and subcontractors to include an updated Equal Opportunity Clause to include sexual orientation and gender identity in new or modified subcontracts or purchase orders, to ensure that applicants and employees are not discriminated against due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, and to amend job solicitation and work place notices on equal opportunity to include the protected categories of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Final Rule does not require contractors or subcontractors to collect data, establish placement goals or conduct statistical analysis, nor does it require them to ask applicants or employees to voluntarily self-identify their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Final Rule also does not define “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”, rather the OFCCP has advised that it will rely on the EEOC guidelines and existing Title VII law.
The Final Rule will be effective 120 days after its official publication of December 9, 2014 on April 8, 2015. It applies to all covered contracts entered into or modified after the April, 2015 date. Although comments on the Final Rule and the implementation of the revised regulations are being requested and accepted until February 6, 2015, it is unlikely that there will be significant modification to the Final Rule and we anticipate that this will an area of continuing focus next year.