President Trump quietly signed an executive order on Monday revoking the previously ordered requirement that companies who seek federal contracts prove that they do not discriminate against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or identity.
Out Leadership partner organization Lambda Legal and the ACLU have observed that, by removing the verification mechanism from Obama’s 2014 executive order mandating that federal contractors have nondiscrimination policies inclusive of LGBT+ people, Trump’s executive order effectively hobbles Obama’s intent – and that by doing so, the new order contravenes Trump’s statement in January that he would not overturn the new protections.
On January 31, the White House said: “The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
The new order does not remove the requirement that LGBT+ people be included in the nondiscrimination policies of firms seeking federal contracts, but it will prevent the government from actually checking whether companies for contracts are actually complying with that law.
“It definitely sends a message that this administration does not prioritize these laws, or think that investigating compliance is important,” Claudia Center, a disability rights attorney at the ACLU, told NBC News.
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven issued a statement noting that “The Trump-Pence administration is depriving the people of a valuable enforcement tool. Employees of federal contractors should know their rights, and contact us if they are discriminated against,” and promising to “sue to enforce the federal laws that protect to LGBT employees and employees living with HIV.”