05/21/2013 // Keller Grover LLP // Eric Grover // (press release)
Gay rights have fostered a heated debate among lawmakers on many different levels. But one Oregon lawmaker, Senator Jeff Merkely, is taking the initiative to ensure that all workers, including those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, have federal protection against discrimination in the workplace, reports Bay Area employment lawyer Eric Grover.
Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley is introducing the Employment Non- Discrimination Act this week, which will move to prohibit intentional employment discrimination against LGBT workers by employers, employment agencies and labor unions, Bloomberg reported.
The House is also considering similar legislation.
While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, it does not mention anything about sexual orientation or identity.
At this time there are 29 states that have no explicit protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity. In addition, a 2011 report by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, found that “During the past four decades a large body of research using a variety of methodologies has consistently documented high levels of discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people at work.”
The idea of extending employment rights to the LGBT community is something that has already been in the works in the past, and many companies are adopting their own policies to handle such matters.
In the last Congress, 43 senators co-sponsored legislation that would put an end to LGBT employment discrimination. In addition, a majority of Fortune 500 companies, as well as many municipalities, private clubs, religious organizations and business with fewer than 15 employees, revealed that they have adopted similar guidelines.
“Regardless of how you identify yourself or what your sexual preference, we are all humans and deserve equal rights in the workplace,” says Keller Grover LLP‘s San Francisco Employment Lawyer Eric Grover. “Unfortunately, there is discrimination taking place in businesses across the United States and it’s our duty to ensure these basic rights are extended to everyone.”
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