The Department of Labor recently announced a new “final rule” prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracts.  The Final Rule will implement Executive Order 13672, prohibiting such discrimination against employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.  Once published in the Federal Register, it will become effective 120 days thereafter and will apply to any federal contract entered or modified once effective.  It will not apply to any employer who does not participate in federal contracts.  See

Employers with 15 or more employees who are not subject to EO 13672, however, are still subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which enforces Title VII, has held that Title VII prohibition of discrimination because of sex includes discrimination based upon gender identity and sex-stereotyping.

In addition, individual Arizona cities, such as Tempe, Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, have adopted ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with respect to housing, employment and public accommodation. Although these ordinances impose civil sanctions and/or fines, they do not create a private cause of action by an employee against an employer.  If you are an employee who has been subjected to discrimination or are an employer facing a claim, contact an experienced employment lawyer.