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October 26, 2011

USAID Broadens Anti-Discrimination Language for Contractors

USAID has announced a new policy of including language in its contracts that "strongly encourages all its contractors (at all tiers) to develop and enforce comprehensive nondiscrimination policies for their workplaces" that include the same prohibitions that USAID applies to itself.  These prohibited bases include sexual orientation and "sex (including pregnancy and gender identity)."

The new policy acknowledges that the contract language cannot be mandatory. Contractors are barred by existing law and regulation from discriminating based on certain characteristics, but not explicitly sexual orientation or gender identity. Businesses could argue that additional requirements, if mandatory, would contradict current law. 

What is required in order for USAID (and the rest of the federal goverment) to do more is an Executive Order adopting new rules for all federal contractors. Mr. President...

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