Washington, D.C. — It currently is perfectly legal in America to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT. Rather than being evaluated on their skills, qualifications, and ability to contribute to the job, LGBT workers are all too often not hired, not promoted, or, in the worst cases, fired from their jobs solely due to their sexual orientation and gender identity—characteristics completely irrelevant to job performance. And in a majority of states and under federal law, these employees have no legal recourse to challenge this discrimination.
This week, however, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives are planning to introduce a bill to change that. If passed and signed into law, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, or ENDA, would prohibit most employers from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would finally put in place uniform and comprehensive protections for the LGBT workforce in all 50 states.
“In 1996, I stood outside the Senate chamber and watched ENDA fall short of passing by just one vote. Since that day, I have seen tireless efforts from advocates for equality across the country striving to pass sensible workplace protections to finally right the wrong of employment discrimination,” said Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President for External Affairs at the Center for American Progress. “LGBT employees continue to face widespread discrimination and harassment in the workplace, which is bad for employees and bad for business. After 17 years of ENDA languishing in Congress without a vote, it’s high time for our leaders to take action and finally turn it into law.”
The following experts are available to comment on ENDA:
- Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, External Affairs
- Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, Advisor, LGBT Policy and Racial Justice
- Crosby Burns, Policy Analyst, LGBT Research and Communications Project
To speak with a CAP expert, please contact Anne Shoup at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.481.7146.
Related resources from CAP:
- 10 Things to Know About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by Winnie Stachelberg and Crosby Burns
- An Executive Order to Prevent Discrimination Against LGBT Workers by Crosby Burns, Lee Badgett, Nan D. Hunter, Jeff Krehely, Christy Mallory, and Brad Sears
- INFOGRAPHIC: Gay and Transgender Workers Lack Comprehensive Workplace Protections by Crosby Burns and Liz Neemann
- The Costly Business of Discrimination by Crosby Burns
- The Freedom to Work, the Freedom to Worship by Crosby Burns and Jeff Krehely