Senate Passes Bill Banning Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Discrimination

A Monmouth County Business Attorney Discusses the Effects

The United States Senate recently passed historic legislation that would prohibit discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the workplace. Currently, the bill is not yet a law because the House has not voted whether to approve this legislation. However, if the House votes in favor of the law, it will create a significant change in employment laws across the country.

A Major Change in Employee Rights

If passed, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would prohibit employers from using a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis for all employment decisions, which includes pay rates, hiring, promotion and termination. Religious organizations and the military are exempt from the Act, although the military has already enacted similar protections for gay individuals under a different law.

The bill has numerous supporters in both the House and Senate. One senator in favor of ENDA noted that the new legislation completes a “trilogy” of historic laws protecting the rights of American laborers, alongside the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Another senator called the passing of the bill a “tremendous milestone.”

If ENDA fails, some advocates have stated that they will call on the president to issue an executive order barring discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

What Does ENDA Mean For Employees?

Presently, 23 states and territories, including the District of Columbia, have enacted laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination. Only 17 have laws prohibiting gender identity discrimination.

Any change in employment law or business law also means changes for companies and their employees. If ENDA becomes law, workers across the country will benefit from protection for their sexual orientation and gender identity. Gay, bisexual and transgender employees would have the ability to hold others legally accountable for discriminating against them in the workplace.

What You Can Do About Discrimination in Your Workplace

Although ENDA is not yet a law, there are still certain protections that all employees have under other federal regulations. If you have suffered any form of discrimination in the workplace, a lawyer can help you explore your legal options and rights. Our Monmouth County business attorneys represent employees who have suffered discrimination at work. If you have suffered harassment, termination or demotion on the basis of your gender identity or sexual orientation, we have the resources and experience necessary to hold employers accountable for their actions.

For a free consultation, contact our Monmouth County business lawyers by calling (732) 358-2028.

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