Bill banning sexual orientation bias introduced; some version likely to pass this year

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The new version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2981, was introduced in Congress last month and has a good chance of passage this year. It would make it illegal for most public and private employers to discriminate against employees and applicants based on the person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status. The bill exempts religious groups, the U.S. military and veterans groups.

Essentially, ENDA would place discrimination against gay and lesbian employees on a par with discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and other characteristics already prohibited by Title VII.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia already have laws banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Seven other states prohibit sexual orientation discrimination only.

Expect the bill to sail through the House. It’ll face tougher sledding in the Senate, but is still expected to pass. President Obama has agreed to sign it.

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