Even before the new administration took office in January, there has been concern over the future of the 2014 federal order that provides workplace protection rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The executive order applies to federal employees and requires companies under federal contract to have explicit policies banning discrimination against LGBT workers. President Clinton issued an order that barred discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the 2014 order expanded protection to include gender identity.
Approximately one-fifth of the total United States workforce, or 28 million people, are affected by the executive order. LGBT communities have been apprehensive about whether the new administration would try to weaken existing protections against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. However, the White House has issued a statement expelling rumors about a new executive order to overturn the 2014 directive.
Companies Move to Ban LGBT Discrimination
Research shows that nationwide the business community has acted on its own to support the LGBT workforce. Companies want to attract the best employees based on merit. As a result, 91% of Fortune 500 companies already have policies in place banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and 61% also include gender identity protections in their policies. Many of the federal contractors were already in compliance with the 2014 order. Almost a quarter of all federal contracting dollars go to five federal contractors. At the time the executive order was announced in 2014, those top five contractors had company policies that barred discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.
At the state level, currently 18 states plus the District of Columbia have similar legislation that bans LGBT discrimination. Many cities large and small have been able to pass inclusive non-discrimination employment laws. There has been massive public backlash in states like Indiana that have introduced laws expanding religious liberties. Gay rights groups argue such legislation essentially legalizes discrimination against them. North Carolina’s HB2 law had a huge negative economic impact on the state and cost them the NBA all-star game. HB2 mandates that a person must use a public bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate and not the gender with which they identify.
Bucks County Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Protect the Rights of LGBT Workers
If you have experienced discrimination based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation with one of our skilled Bucks County employment discrimination lawyers. You can also fill out our online contact form. We protect and advocate for employees’ rights and will fight for your best possible outcome. Our offices are in Center City Philadelphia, serving clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.