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What is the Status of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?

Discrimination can take many forms, each of which is a violation of basic human rights. While the federal government currently protects many groups from discrimination in the workplace, it does not currently recognize the LGBTQ community as a group in need of such protections. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) seeks to remedy that by banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation.

On September 23, 2012, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on ENDA. As of that date, the Act had the bipartisan support of 178 members of the House of Representatives. If passed, the Act would add sexual orientation to the list of unfair and arbitrary reasons for discrimination in the workplace, including race, gender, national origins and disability. The American Civil Liberties Union is playing an active role in advocating for this legislation, stating that “We believe such legislation continues to be an essential part of equal protection under the law.”

While there have been some state laws in effect since 1982 (21 states as of 2012) to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, the fight to have federal legislation has continued. ENDA was first introduced in 1994 in the 103rd Congress and has been presented (with varied terms) to Congress in every session (except the 109th) since that time. If passed, the Act would give the LGBTQ community the rights of a “protected class” of citizens, making discrimination in the hiring process, as well as within the workplace, illegal under federal law.

Contact Ricotta & Marks, P.C.

The discrimination attorneys at Ricotta and Marks, P.C. are here to make sure you are treated with respect as a prospective hire and once you are an employee. Call Ricotta & Marks, P.C., at 800-240-9269 or send us an e-mail to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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