Labor Department issues final anti-discrimination rule on sexual orientation, gender identity

The Labor Department is issuing a rule to protect federal contract workers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The rule carries out terms of a workplace anti-discrimination law signed by President Barack Obama on July 21.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says people shouldn't be fired or discriminated against in the workplace "simply because of who they are or who they love."

The final rule will become effective 120 days after its publication in the Federal Register and will apply to workers on all federal contracts from that date forward.

Eighteen states, the District of Columbia and many small and large businesses already offer such workplace anti-discrimination protections.