Many of our previous posts here have discussed the federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on a variety of factors. There are laws that protect both employees and potential employees from discrimination based on gender, race or a person's disability, among other factors. However, there currently is no law that prohibits employment discrimination that is based on a person's sexual orientation, even though thousands of companies throughout America have already implemented this type of ban in their employment policies. But, according to a recent report, the first steps have been taken to change federal law.
The recent report centers on legislative action in the United States Senate, where on Nov. 7 a vote of 64-32 approved a bill that would outlaw discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The vote tally is a bit surprising, since it reflects the type of bipartisan effort that is rarely seen in Washington, D.C., these days. Ten Republicans joined with 54 Democrats to vote in favor of the legislation.
This legislative step is being viewed with a bit of skepticism, however, because some experts believe that the bill has no chance of being passed in the United States House of Representatives. Indeed, the recent report indicates that the Speaker of the House does not believe the bill will even be put to a vote.
It is always encouraging when our nation's leaders spend time on issues that could have a real impact on individuals in Colorado and throughout the country. Employment discrimination is a major concern for employees and employers alike. This legislation is just another effort to make sure that workplaces across America are free from the type of discrimination that undermines trust between employers and employees, and ultimately leads to a less productive workplace.
Source: Yahoo! News, "Senate OKs gay rights bill banning discrimination," Donna Cassata, Nov. 7, 2013