Administration pushing for change on LGBTQ at Labor Department

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U.S. Department of Labor (Photo by Ed Brown via Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. Department of Labor (Photo by Ed Brown via Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is pressuring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to change its position on employment cases up before the U.S. Supreme Court this October and issuing a new rule at the Labor Department. 

Bloomberg Law reported on Tuesday that the EEOC has kept its Obama-era policies and has continued to pursue three cases about LGBTQ discrimination up this fall. But the Justice Department is hoping to persuade the EEOC to flip sides. According to the website, political leadership in the Solicitor General’s office wants the EEOC on board to show the high court that the Trump administration is now unified in the belief that Congress didn’t have LGBTQ workers in mind when it passed a federal workplace discrimination law more than five decades ago, sources said.

On Wednesday, Politico reported that the administration is working to allow contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers as part of “religious freedom.”

“With this proposed regulation, the Trump administration is seeking to gut existing protections for LGBTQ people, women, and religious minorities, and we cannot stand idly by,” said HRC President Alphonso David in a press release. “This regulation, which directly contradicts Trump’s earlier promise, is a broad and sweeping effort to implement a license to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender identity and sexual orientation. Everyone deserves a workplace free from discrimination. The Trump administration needs to withdraw this proposed regulation and stop these attacks on LGBTQ people.”

While the EEOC changing its stance is unlikely, the proposed regulation for contractors could go through.

“Once again, the Trump administration is shamefully working to license taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religion,” said Ian Thompson, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement. “Nearly one-quarter of the employees in the U.S. work for an employer that has a contract with the federal government. We will work to stop this rule that seeks to undermine our civil rights protections and encourages discrimination in the workplace.”

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