Labor Dept. finalizes new sex discrimination reg

Labor Dept. finalizes new sex discrimination reg
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The Labor Department on Tuesday finalized a new rule to bar federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against someone on the basis of sex.

The regulation updates the agency's interpretation of a 1965 executive order President Lyndon Johnson signed that was originally to protect African-Americans from discrimination in the workplace.

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It now explicitly protects women from pay discrimination; sexually hostile work environments; discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions; and discrimination based on unlawful sex stereotypes, gender identity and transgender status.

Tuesday’s rule also promotes fair pay practices.

“We have made progress as a country in opening career opportunities for women that were, for decades, the province of men,” Patricia Shiu, dirctor of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said in a statement.

“Yet, there is more work that lies ahead to eradicate sex discrimination. This is why it is important that we bring these old guidelines from the ‘Mad Men’ era to the modern era, and align them with the realities of today’s workplaces and legal landscape.”

The announcement coincides with the start of the White House Council on Women and Girls’ first-ever U.S. Women’s Summit. The event is an effort to bring together advocates of gender equality to highlight areas of progress and identify remaining challenges.