While human rights legislation with regards to LGBTQ discrimination seems to be moving in the right direction, there is one glaring violation that seems to simply have been swept under the carpet. While same sex marriages have been legalized and the criminal aspect removed from legislation, discrimination in the work place is still a huge issue that needs to be addressed.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act which calls for abolishing discrimination related to sexual orientation in the work place was first defeated by a 7-3 vote by the House Rules Committee. Even though the Act has since been passed by Senate, it still has not been implemented.
This means that employers can still terminate employment due to sexual orientation in 29 states in the United States. In another 19 states, termination of employment can be legally implemented due to sexual identity.
But it isn’t just termination that is the problem with LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace. LGBTQ employees often receive lower compensation for their work, are overlooked for promotions and have no legal standing with regards to harassment or mistreatment in the workplace. The figures for reported cases rise for African American LGBTQ groups as well as for those who are transgender.
Countless human rights and other organizations have been working for a number of years to create the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and it is disheartening that although it has been passed, so little has been done to implement the legislation.
Over and above this, there is still no federal protection for rights discrimination against LGBTQ persons in the workplace. The LGBTQ community simply has no recourse when it comes to infringement of their human rights in the same way heterosexual people do in the workplace.
However, on the plus side, 22 states have already passed laws that make any form of discrimination in the workplace due to sexual orientation illegal. This is a big step in the right direction but much work still needs to be done.
In order for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to finally be implemented, it is important for as many citizens of the United States to show their support for equal rights in the workplace. Trump’s executive order revoking elements of the previous president’s order to ban discrimination due to sexual orientation in the workplace has set matters back even further.
In fact, the order has affected legislation even in states where discrimination due to sexual orientation has been made illegal since it revokes the need for federal and other organizations to comply with the previous order.