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Employment Blog

Is it Only a Matter of Time Before LGBT Individuals Have Federal Employment Protection??

Authored by Sara J. Ackermann
Posted on November 12, 2013
Filed under Employment

Remember Jack Tripper? Pretending to be gay to stay in the coveted apartment with Chrissy and Janet? Oh, the ruse Jack played for years with multiple landlords who never quite caught on to Jack's true identity.

In the employment setting, the opposite is true. Employees are more likely to hide their gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender identity and pretend to be straight so as not to suffer discrimination in the workplace. While several states, including Wisconsin, protect these individuals from employment discrimination, there is currently no federal legal protection. This, however, could change. On November 7, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill 815, also known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban employers from discriminating in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Will this legislation, first proposed nearly twenty years ago, get through the House of Representatives?

For employers with employees in states that currently offer no legal protection for LGBT individuals in the workplace, this is one to watch.