Sunday, January 12, 2014

New VA Gov Terry McAuliffe Issues Executive Order Protecting LGBT State Employees

Good news from the elections have consequences category. In November 2013, Virginia voters chose Democrat Terry McAuliffe to replace Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell (Virginia governors are only allowed to serve one term). McAuliffe was sworn in yesterday and one of his very first acts was to issue Executive Order Number 1, which prohibits state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (as well as other categories).

Here is the text of Virginia Executive Order #1:

Importance of the InitiativeBy virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor, I hereby declare that it is the firm and unwavering policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to assure equal opportunity in all facets of state government. The foundational tenet of this Executive Order is premised upon a steadfast commitment to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, and mutual respect for all Virginians.  
This policy specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities. The policy permits appropriate employment preferences for veterans and specifically prohibits discrimination against veterans. 
State appointing authorities and other management principals are hereby directed to take affirmative measures, as determined by the Director of the Department of Human Resource Management, to emphasize the recruitment of qualified minorities, women, disabled persons, and older Virginians to serve at all levels of state government. This directive does not permit or require the lowering of bona fide job requirements, performance standards, or qualifications to give preference to any state employee or applicant for state employment. 
Allegations of violations of this policy shall be brought to the attention of the Office of Equal Employment Services of the Department of Human Resource Management. No state appointing authority, other management principal, or supervisor shall take retaliatory actions against persons making such allegations. 
Any state employee found in violation of this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. 
The Secretary of Administration is directed to review and update annually state procurement, employment, and other relevant policies to ensure compliance with the non-discrimination mandate contained herein, and shall report to the Governor his or her findings together with such recommendations as he or she deems appropriate. The Director of the Department of Human Resource Management shall assist in this review. 
This Executive Order supersedes and rescinds Executive Order No. 6 (2010), Equal Opportunity, issued by Governor Robert F. McDonnell on February 5, 2010. 

Effective Date of the Executive OrderThis Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 11th day of January 2014.                                                                          ___________________________________                                                                        Terence R. McAuliffe, Governor
Gov. McDonnell's Executive Order No. 6 had failed to include sexual orientation in the list of categories, eliminating the protections that state workers had previously enjoyed. McDonnell had falsely claimed such protections were unnecessary but deliberately issued a new executive order excluding them to promote his heterosexual supremacist agenda for the state. The Virginia Legislature has repeatedly failed to pass a measure that would ban employment discrimination against LGBT people in the state. Of course, if the U.S. House would pass the Employment Non-Discrmination Act (ENDA) like the U.S. Senate did then federal law would protect LGBT workers from discrimination.

Thanks to the election of 2013 and Gov. Terry McAuliffe keeping his promises LGBT state employees are now protected from discrimination in Virginia.

1 comment:

carter said...

Terry will always be remembered for this, if nothing else during his term of office.
Thanks Terry!


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