Government agencies have cleared an administrative measure that would bar federal dollars from going to companies without LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections, according to three informed sources familiar with the process, and have sent their recommendation to the White House for final approval.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Labor Department and the Justice Department have given the OK to amend existing Executive Order 11246 to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Executive Order 11246 already prohibits federal contractors that have contracts exceeding $10,000 from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Now that the measure is at the White House, the last remaining step is for President Obama to take action.
“It is at the White House and is now a political decision,” one source said.
Another source was optimistic about President Obama issuing the executive order before the end of his first term, saying, “I think there are better than even odds we’ll see it this year.”
The measure is sometimes known as the “ENDA” executive order because it would accomplish the same goals as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that has stalled in Congress that would bar job bias against LGBT people in the public and private workforce. The executive order would only apply to companies doing business with the federal government.
Neither the White House nor the Justice Department responded to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on whether the departments have approved the executive order.
Laura McGinnis, a Labor Department spokesperson, said any approval her department has given to the order is “not something we could comment on” and deferred further inquiries to the White House.