A new federal rule barring discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors and subcontractors went into effect today (Wednesday, April 8), a little less than a year after President Obama announced the historic move.
In a blog post, Labor Secretary Tom Perez called the move a civil rights victory.
“It will mean a more dynamic and inclusive workforce that captures the talents of more of our people. It advances the principle that we should be leaving no one on the sidelines, that America is strongest when it fields a full team,” Perez wrote.
Until today, Perez wrote, neither sexual orientation nor gender identity were considered protected classes under federal contracting ordinances. This is the first time the rule has been changed since 1974.
“Today is an important mile marker on the path to workplace equality, but our efforts are far from finished. We will move with all haste, bringing to bear the full resources of this department to implement and enforce these new protections on behalf of the LGBT Americans who work for federal contractors,” wrote Perez.