October 3, 2007
HRC Workplace Rating for LGBT Employees
The Human Rights Campaign has released its LGBT workplace ratings. It indicates that 195 major US companies received a 100% score for treatment of LGBT employees. See the HRC website here. This is good news, but it does not prevent the need for the ENDA. In fact, if these companies decide to change their policies towards LGBT employees, there is no remedy. If the ENDA is passed, LGBT employees will have some assurance of continued respectful treatment in the workplace and a remedy against discrimination.
October 2, 2007
ENDA on Hold
Well, the removal of transgendered individuals from the ENDA has caused an uproar amongst LGBT support groups. Due to the massive response to the change in the legislation, a vote on the Act has been post-poned.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, "the intense backlash by the gay community surprised House Democratic leaders." Really? It did not come as a surprise to me at all. Transgendered individuals are part of the LGBT community--and a partially helpful Employment Nondiscrimination Act is akin to a public announcement that only some individuals in the LGBT community deserve legal protection.
October 1, 2007
Transgender Protection Removed from ENDA
As predicted by William Turner's previous blog on the ENDA, transgender protections have been removed from the Act by the House of Representatives. This is a strange move, given that trangendered individuals are still included in the Hate Crimes Act, which was passed by the Senate last week. See San Francisco Chronicle Article from 9/28/07.
Regarding the change, Barney Frank, D.-Mass. said:
"Simply protecting, or trying to protect someone against assault is very different from saying you have to hire the person and let them live here and sleep here, etc., etc." Frank said. "Obviously, we didn't think that was persuasive." --San Francisco Chronicle.
It is not "persuasive" to state that transgendered individuals have a right to work free from harassment and discrimination? According to Frank, they only have a right to live in an environment that is "hate crime" free. But, arguably, the right to work free from discrimination is even more important. Without a job, an individual has nowhere to live, cannot afford to eat, etc.
How can you reconcile passing a bill to protect an entire group of individuals from hate induced crimes and a failure to protect the same group from discrimination at work in a subsequent bill (hate manifested in a different manner)?