Employment Non-Discrimination Act and LGBT Rights

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been a piece of proposed legislation introduced into every Congress since 1994. The bill would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. In the 113th Congress on April 25th, 2013, the bill passed on the Senate (64-32) and is awaiting vote in the House. The bill, however, has yet to pass.

If the legislation passes, it would make it unlawful for an employer, because of an individual’s sexual identity, to:

  • fail or refuse to hire, to discharge, or to otherwise discriminate with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment of such individual; or
  • limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants in any way that would deprive any individual of employment or adversely affect an individual’s status as an employee.

Some conservatives and religious groups oppose the bill, while proponents argue that sexuality is not a choice, but a personal identity.

If approved, ENDA would become a federal law. Right now, state and city laws in New York offer protection for LBGT individuals in the workplace. The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) is a New York State Law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation. Federal and local laws also prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace.

Even without the passage of ENDA, you still have rights and access to legal remedies as a victim of sexual orientation discrimination. An NYC lawyer can help you decide how to proceed if you have been harassed or discriminated against at work.

Derek T. Smith recently obtained a $1,600,000 verdict in a sexual orientation trial and that the amount was recently upheld on appeal.

The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 or toll-free at 1-877-4NYLAWS or email at dtslaws@msn.com.

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