Labor Department Completes LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rule

The Labor Department was tasked by the president this summer with devising regulations barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department has finalized a rule barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers, sending it to the Office of Management and Budget on Monday for review, BuzzFeed News has learned.

The rule implements Executive Order 13672, which President Obama signed in July and bars federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The final rule was submitted for review by OMB on Monday, according to a Labor Department spokesperson.

"The president tasked the secretary of labor with extending these workplace protections to LGBT Americans in the federal contracting workforce, directing the department to prepare regulations implementing the changes to EO 11246 within 90 days," the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. "While 18 states, the District of Columbia, and many businesses, large and small, already offer workplace protections to LGBT employees, July's executive order was the first federal action to ensure LGBT workplace equality."

No timeline was given for the OMB review, after which the final rule would be expected to be published in the Federal Register. Additionally, the spokesperson said the full text of the rule would not be available until it is published in the Federal Register.

Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz said of the news, "We are pleased that the President's Executive Order is one step closer to implementation. We look forward to final regulations that will ensure that employees of federal contractors are protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity."

Freedom to Work's Tico Almeida, who has been critical of the administration's pace on LGBT workplace issues, told BuzzFeed News, "We applaud Labor Secretary Perez and [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs] Director [Patricia] Shiu for taking this important step towards ensuring that LGBT Americans get a fair shot to build successful careers at the companies that profit from taxpayer-funded contracts."