This document provides model policies for federal contractors, subcontractors, and federally-assisted contractors (collectively, “federal contractors”) to comply with Executive Order (“EO”) 11246 and other laws prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment. As explained in Part I, federal contractors are prohibited by executive order from engaging in sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. In addition, federal courts and agencies are increasingly concluding that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination covers sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination and a growing number of state and local laws prohibit also such discrimination.
These model policies are intended to enable federal contractors to both comply with EO 11246 and its implementing regulations but also deter discrimination and harassment against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) employees and create a workplace that is accepting of LGBT workers. Williams Institute research has shown that adopting LGBT-supportive policies makes good business sense. Specifically, LGBT-supportive policies have been linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved health outcomes among LGBT employees.Employers often choose to adopt LGBT-supportive policies voluntarily because of these benefits and others such as the ability to recruit and retain the best talent. Research has found that among the top corporate employers with LGBT-supportive policies in the United States, over half stated that they adopted the policies for economic reasons.
These model policies are based on our review and analysis of (1) applicable federal laws, including executive orders, regulations, and guidance from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the U.S. Department of Labor; (2) decisional law from courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal agency charged with enforcing Title VII; (3) existing employment policies of fifty major federal contractors;and (4) feedback from a number of stakeholders, including employment discrimination attorneys and human resource professionals.