More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition asking the president to issue an executive order ensuring workplace protections for gay federal contractors.
Administration officials will not confirm any action, but Tico Almeida, president of the Freedom to Work advocacy group, said Labor and Justice department lawyers have recommended President Obama issue a policy requiring federal contractors to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Freedom to Work, which seeks anti-discrimination policies for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender workers, created the online petition at Change.org.
More than 16 million employees of federal contractors either work for companies or reside in states that do not provide those protections, according to a February report by UCLA’s Williams Institute, which conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.
Several large contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics, and some states offer specific protections against sexual orientation discrimination, Almeida said. DynCorp International recently added such protections after reports that company officials demoted and transferred an employee who reported being taunted by anti-gay slurs, he said.
Companies without explicit policies prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination may still offer protections for their employees, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president for the Professional Services Council industry association. However, having those policies in place could help the workforce feel better protected, he said.
“It’s an area worth paying attention to,” Chvotkin said.
Federal Times this week examines the growing concern in the ranks of federal employees over the rising anti-government rancor among many Americans. Some people say agencies need to better educate Americans on the many seen and unseen services the government performs to generate a better appreciation for all it does. Others say the animosity is the result of an increasingly bitter and polarizing national debate fanned by politicians and extreme partisans in the media. Still others say federal employees deserve criticism for being incapable of managing many programs that make effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
What do you think? Do you think anti-fedism is on the rise? What if anything should be done about it?
Looking for a job in the Obama administration? Then you should check out the Plum Book, the federal directory of leadership jobs released after every presidential election.
The book was released today and contains more than 7,000 federal civil service leadership and support job descriptions in the legislative and executive branches.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that all of the jobs will be filled when Obama takes office. It does, however, give you a look at the scope of opportunities available for you in certain sectors of the federal government (and could even help you get that ol’ resume ready!)
The glorious tradition of the Plum Book originated in 1952 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office after 22 years of Democratic control of the White House. The Republican Party asked for a list of previous positions so the administration knew which jobs could be filled, and the book has been published every four years since 1960.