Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Yesterday in an interview with The Huffington Post, Vice President Biden said he sees “no downside” to President Obama signing an Executive Order ensuring federal employment protections for LGBT people.

Federal contractors employ more than 20 percent of the American workforce. An executive order would prohibit companies that contract with the federal government from discriminating in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. By issuing an such an order, the President would not only create fairer workplaces for 16 million workers across the country, he would continue to put pressure on the House to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA.)

Currently, there is no explicit federal law against sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, and lesbian, gay and bisexual people lack protection under the laws of 29 states, and transgender individuals are not explicitly protected under the laws of 33 states. 

ENDA alongside an Executive Order would address the broad landscape of 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.  

Filed under: Federal Advocacy, Workplace

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