The US Senate must now vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) after it passed through the Congress in April. Under current federal laws, there are no universal protections for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) communities. In fact, in 29 states, workers can be fired or denied employment simply because they are gay.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers discriminating based on race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, but did not extend these protections to sexual orientation. The ENDA, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), would extend these same protections to the LGBT community.
“We definitely see a tremendous amount of discussion of marriage equality,” Merkley told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post. “The momentum in that area will also be reflected in this area of employment. I feel we have reached a turning point.”
If this bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, it will be a huge step forward for not only the LGBT community, but for citizens of the United States as well. California already has protections in place, prohibiting employers from sexual orientation discrimination. There is more information available on our website—call our office today at (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual orientation discrimination attorneys