Several months ago, President Obama signed an executive order which ultimately prohibits federal subcontractors and contractors from engaging in behaviors which discriminate against individuals due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. Like many executive orders, laws and federal regulations, a gap in time existed between the signing of this order and the date that the order takes full legal effect. Thankfully, this executive order is finally binding and has taken full effect.

Many gaps in federal, state and local laws continue to exist which ultimately allow for legal discrimination against members of the LGBT community within American workplaces. However, this executive order and other legal efforts like it are helping to ensure that these gaps are closing. The process of ensuring proper treatment for all individuals in the workplace is time consuming and challenging. However, it is a process completely worthy of the efforts it requires.

As of this month, if an employer which serves as a federal subcontractor or contractor discriminates against LGBT workers on the basis of their gender identity or sexual orientation, those affected employees will be able to hold the offending employers responsible. With the aid of experienced attorneys, employees will be able to demand that employers respect their rights.

If you have questions about this executive order or any matter of LGBT discrimination law as it applies to the workplace, please do not hesitate to speak to an attorney who can advise you of your legal options based on your unique set of circumstances.

Source: The White House, “Another Step Toward Equality for LGBT Workers,” Thomas E. Perez, April 8, 2015