Press Room

April 07, 2004

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Office of Special Counsel Issues Encouraging Statement

"This is an encouraging sign and we look forward to the restoration of full protection," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques

WASHINGTON - The federal agency responsible for investigating workplace discrimination issued a statement today saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited in federal workplaces. HRC was deeply concerned with recent reports that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel was retreating from its long-established policy of investigating and enforcing disciplinary action against sexual orientation-based employment discrimination against federal workers.

"This is an encouraging sign and we look forward to the restoration of full protection," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "No employer should be given a pass on discrimination."

The OSC removed references to sexual orientation-based discrimination from its complaint form, the OSC basic brochure, training slides and a two-page flier entitled "Your Rights as a Federal Employee." The OSC also removed from its website a press release issued by the OSC in June 2003 that announced the settlement of a case involving discrimination based on sexual orientation against an applicant to the Internal Revenue Service. According to today's statement, the office "intends to review and revise those materials."

"The non-discrimination policy should be clear to every federal employee and employer," added Jacques.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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