On September 25, 2009, the House heard oral arguments in favor of the passing of the Employee Non Discrimination Act. The ENDA would be an important step in amending current employment law to include protection for LGBT employees throughout the country. The bill is aimed at ending discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The arguments for passage included testimony from workers whose employment had been adversely affected by their sexual orientation or gender identity. One state worker in Georgia recalled being let go when she informed her supervisor that she was planning to have gender transition surgery.
This bill is extremely necessary in that currently there is a lapse in any protections for individuals. No federal law currently exists which would protect people from termination or harassment in the work place based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Rather, individuals must rely on a patchwork of local and state laws to have their rights adequately represented.
The ENDA would function alongside the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and further amendments to help shore up the rights of employees in the workplace. We here at the Harman Firm urge quick action on the ENDA, and help protect the rights of workers everywhere.