The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to clarify and implement Executive Order 11246, which bans discrimination on the basis of gender identify and transgender status for all businesses doing contract or subcontract work with the federal government.

Both the executive order and yesterday's guidance follow on the heels of 2012 discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Macy v. Holder, which established that both gender identity and transgender status fall under the sex discrimination protection of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

"Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one," Labor Secretary.Tom Perez in announcing the upcoming guidance in June.

The guidance will be enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), a wing of the DOL. OFCCP vows it will fully investigate and seek to remedy all instances of sex discrimination that occur because of an individual’s gender identity or transgender status. The directive explains that, when investigating such instances of potential discrimination, OFCCP adheres to the existing Title VII framework for proving sex discrimination, as outlined in OFCCP’s Federal Contract Compliance Manual.

To implement this and other federal discrimination policies at your place of business, please refer to Personnel Concepts' informative and easy-to-follow Federal Harassment in the Workplace Program.