Thanks to an executive order recently signed by President Obama, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender federal employees are now protected from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identification. The order also extends protection to the 28 million employees in 24,000 companies hired as federal contractors. Obama’s order amends previous anti-discrimination orders signed by Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton that did not include provisions for sexual orientation and gender identification. The Labor Department will carry out the order with changes expected to take effect in early 2015.
In response to pressure from religious organizations, Obama’s order will keep an exemption that allows religious organizations with federal contracts to base employment decisions on their religious identity, but prohibits them from making decisions based on sexual orientation or gender identification alone. Religious contractors include, but are not limited to overseas relief and development programs as well as re-entry programs for federal prisoners.
In the White House signing ceremony, President Obama referred to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act bill that passed the Senate last year, but has remained stalled in the House. Hoping to put some pressure on Congress to pass this bill, President Obama stated that there are currently more states in the U.S. allowing gay marriage than there are those prohibiting discrimination against gays in the workforce. There are currently only 18 states and approximately 200 local governments in the U.S. banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. As he signed the executive order in the White House ceremony, President Obama stated that it is unacceptable to fire someone in the United States for being gay adding, “We’re here to do what we can to make it right.”
The Philadelphia Employment Law Firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates Advocates for those Facing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Discrimination
The Philadelphia sexual orientation and gender identification discrimination attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates understand the struggles that the LGBT community faces in the workplace. Refusing to grant an interview, hire, or terminate an employee based on their sexual preference or gender status is illegal. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against in the workplace because of gender identity or sexual orientation, call us at 215-569-1999 or complete our online contact form. Our team of dedicated and experienced Philadelphia job discrimination attorneys will review the details of your case and advise you of the best legal strategy available.