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Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

Frequently Asked Questions
Directive 2014-02, Gender Identity and Sex Discrimination


Background

On June 30, 2014, the Secretary of Labor announced that the Department of Labor (DOL) is updating its enforcement protocols and nondiscrimination guidance to clarify that DOL provides the full protection of the federal nondiscrimination laws that it enforces to individuals with claims of gender identity and transgender status discrimination.

Implementing the Secretary’s announcement, on August 19, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive 2014–02, Gender Identity and Sex Discrimination.  This directive clarifies that under Executive Order 11246, as amended, discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status. You can view the directive on the OFCCP website at https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/directives/dir2014_02.html.


When does this directive take effect?

The directive takes effect immediately.


Who is affected by this directive?

The directive applies to federal government contractors and subcontractors, including those performing work under federally assisted construction contracts. It protects employees of and applicants to covered contractors.


How does this directive relate to Executive Order 13672, which added sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories protected by Executive Order 11246?
 
As stated above, this directive takes effect immediately. It applies to all federal contractors currently subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of Executive Order 11246. The directive clarifies that existing agency guidance on discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status. Under the directive, OFCCP compliance officers evaluate complaints of discrimination from job applicants and employees based on gender identity and/or transgender status as complaints of discrimination based on sex.

Executive Order 13672 is already in effect as it applies to federal government employees. However, Executive Order 13672 will apply only to covered federal contractors that enter into contracts on or after the effective date of DOL’s implementing regulations.

Both this directive and Executive Order 13672 prohibit contractors from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of their gender identity. This directive clarifies that discrimination on the bases of gender identity and transgender status are forms of sex discrimination, prohibited by Executive Order 11246, as amended. The directive does not address discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. On the other hand, Executive Order 13672 prohibits discrimination on the bases of gender identity and sexual orientation as separate protected categories.