The U.S. Senate approved a bill on November 7 that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill was approved with a 64-32 vote and comes 50 years after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act.
A similar anti-discrimination bill failed 17 years ago by only one vote. The bill that passed this month, deemed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, is the first major gay rights bill since Congress repealed the ban on gays being open about their sexuality in the military in 2010.
The act follows in the footsteps of about 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 22 states, including California, that have passed similar bans on employment discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender workers. Current federal law only protects those discriminated against on the basis of sex, race and national origin; it does not protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans from being refused employment. Openly gay senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, called the vote a “tremendous milestone.”
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) bans discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on sexual orientation.
What Should I Do if I’m Being Discriminated Against at Work?
If you believe your employer is discriminating against or harassing you at work, it may be in your best interest to first try to solve the issue internally with your workplace. Fully documenting all instances of discrimination and harassment is also important to establishing a case. If you fear retaliation or your workplace does not help with your complaints, a California employment attorney can help you file a claim and determine your rights. Set up a consultation with our Los Angeles harassment attorneys if you think your workplace rights have been violated. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their workplace, and we can help you during this difficult time.
Did You Know: Employees only have one year from the date of discrimination to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys