Less than two months after directly promising he would not repeal Obama’s discrimination protections for LGBT workers, Donald Trump has quietly revoked part of Obama’s discrimination protections for LGBT workers.
Barack Obama signed a series of executive orders in 2014 ensuring that employees of federal contractors are protected by LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, after Republicans in Congress shot down legislation on the issue.
An official White House statement on January 31 pledged: “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. 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.”
Less than two months later, however, Trump has already slid back on the promise, today officially revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order that was a key part of protecting LGBT workers.
The order required companies that want to do business with the federal government to disclose whether they have been liable for discriminating against people, including against LGBT people.
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order is technically distinct from the Executive Order on LGBTQ workplace protections, but the two orders were intended to supplement each other on issues of discrimination. LGBT rights experts say that by repealing the order, Trump has created a loophole that makes it difficult to enforce any decision against an anti-LGBT company.
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven said: “This sends a message that the government condones discrimination. Scrapping an order like this one is different than not adopting one.
“It’s not surprising given Donald Trump’s sordid history with women that this administration is allowing companies to hide sex discrimination – including sexual harassment.
“Furthermore, this administration is inviting businesses to the table that violate equal pay and fair wage laws, ignore laws requiring family medical leave, or target employees for discrimination based on race, sex, gender identity, gender non-conformity (including being gay or lesbian), disability (including HIV), and numerous other grounds.
“All of these things violate the law. Companies that flout the law should be sued – not invited to win our tax dollars.
“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.
“Lambda Legal will sue to enforce the federal laws that protect to LGBT employees and employees living with HIV.”