The employee rights law firm of Outten & Golden LLP applauds today’s introduction of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA) by Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Christopher Shays (R-CT), and issues the following statement:
The public supports workplace equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, according to recent polls and studies. Most Americans agree that workers should be judged solely by their performance on the job. While 17 states, the District of Columbia, and many other localities extend fair employment protections to LGBT individuals, most U.S. workers have no such protection. Workplace discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity persists, and it remains legal in at least 33 states to fire or refuse to hire individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Along with many labor, civil rights, religious, and professional organizations, we urge Congress to make the most of this historic opportunity for workplace equality. Passage of ENDA would ensure that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity becomes as unlawful as discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or disability. For many Americans, ENDA could be as important as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. ENDA protects not only LGBT employees, but also other employees who support or associate with them.
ENDA provides the force of law to protections already in place at many forward thinking Fortune 500 companies. As a practical matter, it will not impose a significant burden on corporate America. According to a recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report, similar state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation have not led to significant increases in litigation. ENDA would not cover small businesses, the military or most religious organizations. ”
About Outten & Golden LLP
With offices in New York and Connecticut, Outten & Golden LLP represents and advises employees in claims of individual and class-wide discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as in retaliation, whistleblower, wage and hour, and contract cases. The firm also advises individuals on employment agreements, compensation arrangements, and severance plans.
With its Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Workplace Rights Practice Group, O&G is the only private firm in the nation with a practice group specifically dedicated to protecting LGBT employees’ rights. The firm proudly protects and promotes LGBT individuals’ workplace rights in all areas of employment law, including discrimination and retaliation cases, executive compensation negotiations, severance negotiations, partnership matters, class actions and impact litigation, other types of employment-based disputes, and general employment-related problem solving.
For more information, please visit www.outtengolden.com.
Attorney Contacts: Carmelyn P. Malalis, Justin M. Swartz, Anjana Samant, or Seth M. Marnin, Outten & Golden LLP, 212-245-1000.
Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Outten & Golden LLP, 281-362-1411 or 281-703-6000.