Nevada Legislature Passes Bill to Add Gender Identity to Employment Anti-Discrimination Law
May 18, 2011 by Jeremy Pittman, Deputy Field Director
Yesterday, members of the Nevada State Assembly took a final vote on AB 211, a bill codifying prohibitions against discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity or expression. The bill had already passed the Assembly but required a vote to agree to minor amendments made in the State Senate. The bill now moves to the desk of Governor Brian Sandoval for his consideration.
If signed into law, Nevada would become the 14th U.S. state, along with the District of Columbia, to provide protections based on gender identity or expression.
“The Nevada legislature has rightly recognized that everyone should be treated equally in the workplace, and Governor Sandoval should sign this bipartisan measure into law,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Being free from discrimination based on gender identity or expression, judged solely on your merits and quality of work, is the most common-sense approach to employment policies.”
HRC regional field organizer Adrian Matanza and associate director of diversity Allyson Robinson both spent time on the ground in Nevada working with volunteer leaders from HRC’s Las Vegas Steering Committee and local coalition partners to mobilize support for this critical legislation. In addition to sending e-mail action alerts and holding phone banks to generate support, HRC members testified in support of the bill and participated in Equality Days at the Nevada Statehouse.
“Today is a great day for all residents of Nevada,” said Josh Miller, a member of the HRC Board of Directors from Nevada. “Providing employment protections based on gender identity or expression is a victory for civil rights, and we urge Gov. Sandoval to sign this legislation. The people of our state should be judged on the quality of work they do and not on who they are.”
Nevadans can call Governor Sandoval’s Carson City office at (775) 684-5670 or his Las Vegas office at (702) 486-2500 to urge him to sign AB 211 into law.
In other Nevada news, the Senate has approved SB 331 and 368, bills that expand the state’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of public accommodations and housing, respectively. SB 331 protects against discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, while SB 368 adds gender identity to Nevada’s housing anti-discrimination law. These bills are awaiting Assembly action.
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