Employment descrimination in the US
Apr 23, 2014 | 1084 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This year marks the 50th anniversary since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by President Johnson and Congress. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Rights Act was the first to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin.

This landmark act has led to further developments on discrimination in the workplace. Since the Civil Rights Act was enacted there has been legislation introduced in order to extend civil rights based on discrimination to all populations. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) is one of the new pieces of legislation that aims at having a federal law in place against discrimination towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.

According to the Center for American Progress, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was first introduced to Congress in 1994 and then again in 1996. After the 1996 introduction to Congress it was then introduced to almost every congressional session after that.

In 2007, ENDA was introduced once again and it passed in the House but never made it to the Senate for a vote. The Center for American Progress also mentions that in 2009, when ENDA was introduced once again they included sexual orientation and gender identity to give it a better opportunity to pass.

According to the congressional website, the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was introduced into the Senate and the House of Representative on April 25, 2013 and passed in the Senate on November 7, 2013.

So why is this important? Currently, it is up to each individual state to enact their own laws against employment discrimination. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at the moment there are 29 states in which there is no state law that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and in 33 states there is protection based on gender identity.

This makes it easier for the LGBT population to face discrimination that can include harassment and termination from their employment.

Working in the Shadows: Ending Employment Discrimination for LGBT, a report published by the American Civil Liberties Union, shares stories of people across the country who have experience discrimination that is based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These stories include a single mother from California, agency staff from Indiana, and a U.S. Army Special Forces officer.

This report demonstrates how discrimination takes place and how it is carried out against the LGBT population. According to, A Broken Bargain, a report from Out and Equal, there is no federal law to protect the LGBT population from discrimination in the workplace. This allows for there to be greater inequality in socio-economic status, employment retention, and a disparity in benefits provided to families.

It is my opinion that in order to stop this discrimination from continuing to happen throughout the nation, it is important to advocate for the civil rights of those in need of a voice.

I urge you to contact your Representative and ask for his support of H.R. Bill 1755, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013. It is important that people be treated with equality in the workplace no matter their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

Jazmin Ruiz,

MSW Student/Patterson Resident
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