Yesterday morning President Obama signed an Executive Order amending the 1965 Executive Order 11246. President Obama’s EO prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action by federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (It isn’t clear what the affirmative action obligation will mean.)
The President’s EO also makes corresponding amendments to Executive Order 11478, which pertains to the federal civilian workforce. EO 11478 was amended in 1998 by President Clinton to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, so President Obama’s order merely adds “gender identity” as a new protected status.
Cara Crotty, co-chair of our Affirmative Action practice group, will have a more comprehensive discussion of the new Executive Order later this week.