Report: Efforts to Protect LGBT Workers Are Failing

A recent news article from the International Business Times points out that smokers in Kentucky are protected under state law from employment discrimination, while members of the LGBT community do not have any such protection.

rainbow-flag-1144037In the wake of the sweeping victory for proponents of gay marriage after the landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court, many were hoping to follow with growing public support for gay rights and end employment discrimination against the LGBT community across the county. 

In an effort to accomplish this goal, there were campaigns across the county to get this issue before various state legislatures and also also on the ballot of states, so the voters could take direct action.  They were hoping to see a similar process to how more and more states are allowing medical marijuana in recent years.

However, things have not been going well, as the various state senators and representatives seem unwilling to extend protections against employment discrimination to LGBT workers.  Even in much more liberal states like California, that are still a lot of problems and a lot of discrimination.

Even if you cannot bring a case under a specific statute, this does not mean that you cannot bring a valid claim if you are discriminated against at work based upon your sexual orientation.  If you have been the victim of LGBT discrimination, you should contact an Orange County employment attorney as soon as possible to discuss the law as it pertains to your particular situation.

As for the specific states that are unwilling to move forward on LGBT employment discrimination, this year so far Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia legislatures have been unwilling work on this issue despite various proposals to do so.

This does not mean there hasn’t been any change made at the state government level.  These proposals have gone from having no support whatsoever a decade ago to getting support from some legislators. The problem is that they do not believe, even with increasing public support, they will be able to get the respective bills with the GOP members vowing to fight these bills.

Those who are working to end this type of discrimination feel that it should not be a partisan issue.  The goal should be to end all types of employment discrimination, because no kind of employment discrimination in the workplace is ever a good thing.  Proponents also say that the reason it is hard to get these proposed bills passed is there is a lack of education among voters and representatives on what it actually means to be discriminated against in the workplace.  If there was more education on this issue, they believe that would translate into more support, which eventually will allow these bills to pass across the nation, as we are seeing with medical marijuana and gay marriage.

There is a hope that this issue will reach the United States Supreme Court, but there is some uncertainty now with the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Any decision now might not have a majority, and that would leave the status quo in place.  There is also uncertainty as to when a new justice will be appointed, given the GOP’s plans to block any nomination until a new president is elected.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Bills To Protect Gay And Transgender Workers From Discrimination Are Stalling Nationwide, February 15, 2016, IBT, By Cole Stangler More Blog Entries:

California Considering New Regulations to Prevent Workplace Violence Among Healthcare Workers, Jan. 11, 2016, Orange County Gender Bias Lawyer Blog