Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) reintroduced in U.S. House

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Rep. Barney FrankBarney Frank has just reintroduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and this time it includes gender-identity language. According to the Washington Blade, over 100 cosponsors  are already on board on with the measure, including lead sponsors Barney Frank (D-MA), IIeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Michael Castle (R-DE), George Miller (D-CA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Todd Platts (R-PA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ). From the HRC press release:

“Just like our friends, neighbors and coworkers, LGBT Americans work hard, provide for our families and contribute to our nation’s economy,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “We all share the challenges of today’s economic downturn, but our community also faces arbitrary discrimination in the workplace, simply because of who we are and who we love.  Congress must pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, get a fair chance to succeed at work.”

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  This bill would reflect the values, shared by the vast majority of Americans, that employment decisions should be based on a person’s qualifications and work ethic.

An estimated 85% of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their equal employment policies, and more than one-third also include gender identity.  More than 60 companies have joined the Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  To view a list of the companies, visit: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2009/06/enda-introduction-tomorrow-corporations-agree-fairness-is-good-business/

Two versions of ENDA were introduced back in 2007, the first with gender-identity language, the second without. The first bill, H.R. 2015 died in committee. The followup bill, H.R. 3685 passed the house 235 to 184, but many LGBT groups refused to support the second bill because of the exclusion gender-identity language.

Post by ILO on 06/24/09 at 11:55 am