Earlier this week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a directive to “clarify that existing agency guidance on discrimination on the basis of sex . . . includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status.”  OFCCP’s pronouncement on the issue comes on the heels of the Secretary of the Department of Labor’s announcement on June 30 that DOL is updating its enforcement protocols and anti-discrimination guidance to clarify that DOL provides “the full protection of the federal nondiscrimination laws [it] enforce[s] to individuals to transgender individuals.”

The OFCCP directive is part of a broader effort by the current administration to protect federal contractor employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  On July 21, President Obama signed an Executive Order (13672) amending Executive Order 11246 – which prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin– to explicitly prohibit government contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Our July 22, 2014 blog entry provides a more detailed description of the Executive Order.