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News Release

Thursday, June 24, 1999
Contact: Ivonne Cuñarros
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Issues Guidance on Handling Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Washington, D.C. -- The Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Janice R. Lachance, unveiled a new guide to help federal employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Prejudice against any group is intolerable, and it certainly shouldnt be tolerated in the workplace, said Lachance.

The guide, entitled Addressing Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employees Rights, comes in response to President Clintons historic executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal civilian workplace.

Employees should not feel helpless when they believe they are being discriminated against, especially when all they are trying to do is their job, said Lachance.

While the Guide outlines avenues for addressing discrimination in the federal workplace, it does not create any new enforcement rights, such as the ability to file a grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Guide references four avenues for those federal employees or applicants seeking help, including: the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, the Negotiated Grievance Procedure, and the Agency Grievance Procedure. It also outlines the procedures to follow when seeking guidance.

The Guide may be accessed at

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.

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