WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign hailed today’s Senate bipartisan reintroduction of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would create federal protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill is a critical piece of an economic empowerment agenda for the LGBT community, as detailed in a recent memo by HRC: READ MEMO HERE.
“In today's economy, job security is important to all Americans, especially LGBT people who can be fired for no other reason than their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Passing ENDA is a key element of making sure all Americans can get back to work and get our country moving again.”
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently such protections exist in 21 states and DC for sexual orientation and 12 states and DC for gender identity.
“ENDA reflects our shared value that what matters in the workplace is how you do your job, not who you are,” said Solmonese. “While debate remains about how to best solve our country’s economic woes, varied interests from large corporations to organized labor agree that ENDA is critical to our economy.”
Among Fortune 500 companies, 87 percent have sexual orientation non-discrimination policies and 46 percent have gender identity non-discrimination policies. Additionally, more than 85 companies have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Senators Merkley (D-OR), Kirk (R-IL), Harkin (D-IA) and Collins (R-ME) are the lead sponsors of the bill in the Senate.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.