In April 1993, USDA’s EEO and Civil Rights Policy Statement was amended to prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation. In June 2009, Secretary Tom Vilsack signed Departmental Regulation 4230-002, creating a special emphasis program for LGBT employees.
The LGBT Emphasis Program is an integral part of the overall equal employment opportunity (EEO) program and is designed to:
Ensure that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.
Increase the number of LGBT people employed in all professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and other categories, series, and grade levels.
Provide opportunities to participate in training, career development, and leadership programs.
Encourage the participation of LGBT populations in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities.
Provide a network of professional support for LGBT.Provide mentoring support to LGBT in the workforce.
Educate all NRCS employees by raising the level of awareness of LGBT workplace issues and concerns.