President Obama has just signed an executive order making it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. The executive order contains two different parts. First, it provides that it is illegal to fire or harass employees of federal contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The order also explicitly bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. While the executive order only applies to transgender employees of the federal governments, this affects 24,000 companies employing nearly one-fifth of the country’s work force.
In a statement, President Obama noted, “America's federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people. I'm going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”
If you have suffered any form of employment discrimination, including gender discrimination, consulting with an experienced Atlanta employment attorney is crucial to determine your next steps. While the executive order only applies to federal workers, other avenues of redress may exist. Further, 18 states have state laws making it illegal to fire or harass someone at work for being LGBT.