New OFCCP rule on sexual orientation, gender identity takes effect April 8

by Emily L. Bristol

A new rule that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited bases of discrimination under Executive Order 11246 goes into effect on April 8.

The rule, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), will apply to federal contractors that hold covered contracts entered into or modified on or after April 8.

The words “sex, or national origin” will be replaced by “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin” throughout the current regulations. Federal contractors will not be required to set placement goals or collect and analyze data on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Federal contractors will need to update equal employment opportunity (EEO) clauses in new or modified subcontracts and purchase orders after April 8. Also, contractors will see the current “EEO is the Law” poster change.

Through training, the OFCCP has made clear that the final rule does not contain a religious exemption and that Directive 2014-02 already prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of gender identity and transgender status.

For more information on the new OFCCP rule, see the January 2015 issue of Federal Employment Law Insider.

Emily L. Bristol is an attorney with Fortney & Scott, LLC in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at