With Arizona Law Dead, Time to ENDA Discrimination

Arizona lawmakers recently decided against implementing an extremely controversial law involving denial of service to gay and lesbian customers.

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Many say the legislation would have amounted to a modern day version of the discriminatory Jim Crow laws and was essentially state sponsored discrimination against lesbian and gay individuals.

Our Costa Mesa LBGT discrimination attorneys know that although some advances have been made in equality for LBGT individuals, there are still many strides that must be made. Especially in the area of employment discrimination law.

Unfortunately, private businesses are able to take part in LGBT discrimination without breaking the law. Some states, such as California have a state statute that protects LBGT employees from discrimination, but a strong federal law is still necessary.

In order to universally protect gay and lesbian workers throughout the country, Congress has considered an act called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA.

The year 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the first time it was proposed that federal law be amended to protect lesbians and gays in a similar way that sexes and racial groups are protected from discrimination.

ENDA has been introduced to Congress in every session since 1994 but has never been able to pass through both houses and become law. This means that in many states a private company can fire an individual, legally, simply for being lesbian or gay.

Studies have shown that the workplace is plagued with discrimination against lesbian, gay and transgender individuals. Statistics indicate that in the year 2008 37% of lesbian and gay people had experienced some form of workplace harassment within the previous five years.

A full 12 percent have lost a job due to their sexual orientation. The statistics for transgender individuals are strikingly worse. Approximately 90 percent of all transgender workers report having been mistreated or discriminated against due to their sexual orientation.

It is difficult to imagine Congress sitting down and putting together a meaningful session in which it passes real legislation that could make a difference, but it has to be more obvious than ever that ENDA needs to be passed.

This is an issue that both sides of the isle should be able to see clearly – regardless of views on same-sex marriage. The fact is that individuals should not experience discrimination based on characteristics that have nothing to do with job performance.

Costa Mesa employment lawsuits can be filed with assistance from the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Evidence of Persistent and Pervasive Workplace Discrimination Against LGBT People: The Need for Federal Legislation Prohibiting Discrimination and Providing for Equal Employment Benefits, By Jennifer Pizer, Christy Mallory, Brad Sears, Nan Hunter – The Williams Institute

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Settled Wrongful Termination Lawsuit, February 18, 2014, Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Blog

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