Not even two months after promising he would do no such thing, President Donald Trump has revoked part of former president Barack Obama’s discrimination protection for LGBT workers. The executive orders, signed by Obama in 2014, ensured that employees of federal contractors were protected by anti-discrimination legislation.
After taking office, Trump said he wouldn’t roll back Obama’s executive orders in reference to LGBTs. In a statement put out on January 31, the White House stated: “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.”
That promise rang hollow as Trump officially revoked the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, a key piece of Obama’s protections. It required that all companies doing business with the federal government disclose if they had ever been liable for discrimination, including LGBT people. LGBT rights activists allege that by repealing the order, Trump created a loophole that would make it difficult to enforce any orders or decisions against an anti-LGBT employer.
Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven said in a statement: “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.”