What does the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) do?ENDA will create a federal law protecting gay and lesbian workers. The law will make it unlawful to fire or refuse to hire someone based on their sexual orientation. It also makes sure that employers have policies in effect regarding dress standards and gender-segregated facilities.
Is ENDA needed? Isn't it already illegal to fire someone because they are gay or lesbian?Actually, only 21 states have laws that protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination and only 15 protect transgender individuals. Some cities and towns have protections, but ENDA will create a national policy to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans employees from being treated unfairly on the job.
How will ENDA work?ENDA is modeled after Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. An employee who feels she has faced discrimination can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the issue is unresolved, the employee may sue in federal court.
Who will ENDA apply to?All employers with 15 or more employees will be covered by ENDA as well as employment agencies and labor organizations.
The following businesses are exempt from ENDA:
- Small businesses with less than 15 employees.
- Religious organizations will be exempted in certain instances.
Information for this article provided by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.