For Immediate Release
December 3, 2014
Contact: Jerame Davis
Pride at Work Statement on the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Issuing the Final Rule to Implement President Obama’s Executive Order Barring LGBT Workplace Discrimination for Federal Contractors
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, which is housed within the Department of Labor, issued it’s final rule changing federal policy to ban federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Pride at Work (P@W), the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) constituency group of organized labor, lauded the news with this caveat from Executive Director Jerame Davis:
“At Pride at Work, we welcome this long-awaited change to federal contractor employment policy. The issuance of this rule is the final step to enact President Obama’s executive order extending anti-discrimination protections to the employees of companies that do business with the federal government and with it, more than a quarter of the nation’s workforce will be covered. We commend the President and his Administration for its commitment to LGBT equality and, especially, for standing up for LGBT workers, but this rule is not a silver bullet.
“Every day, LGBT workers face untold difficulties in the workplace. From taunts and harassment to being denied promotions and being fired, LGBT employees are regular targets on the job and in the hiring process. With the implementation of this rule, which will cover some portion of workers in all 50 states, it is still true that the best – and sometimes only – workplace protections for vulnerable workers is a strong union contract. Under state law in 29 states, it is still legal to fire an LGBT employee and in 3 additional states, there are no state-level protections for transgender workers. Federal EEOC and Justice Department decisions have recently expanded protections to transgender workers under the sex discrimination ban included in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
“All collective bargaining agreements lay out a legally binding process for employee hiring processes and discipline and most contracts negotiated today include specific LGBT protections. This critical layer of protection is necessary even in handful of states that have laws on the books to protect LGBT workers.
“Pride at Work reaffirms its call for Congress to pass a clean, comprehensive LGBT anti-discrimination bill and reasserts that, even with these rules and laws in place, the added protection of a union contract is a necessary and vital part protecting LGBT workers.”
Pride At Work is the official constituency group of LGBT union members and allies fighting for workplace equality for LGBT workers.We organize mutual support between the organized labor movement in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Workers interested in joining Pride at Work or in launching new chapter organizing efforts, can visit www.prideatwork.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.