Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement commending more than 100 members of Congress who have joined together to make a public statement against workplace sexual orientation discrimination.
Last week, 110 members of Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to sign an executive order requiring federal contractors to include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies. In February, 37 senators sent Obama a similar letter.
The letter indicates that 43 percent of gays and lesbians and 90 percent of transgender people have experienced workplace discrimination. The requested executive order would expand upon one signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, which has been expanded several times to include contractors and subcontractors doing more than $10,000 in business with the federal government. Categories currently covered are race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
“It’s always rewarding when public officials take action to enhance or improve regulations that are put in place to protect employees from discrimination,” said Shegerian. “We applaud the members of Congress for taking this step. Any move to reduce discrimination in the workplace is a good move. Unfortunately discrimination of the gay, lesbian and transgender population remains all too common. It’s very important that the message be driven home that no employee should ever be unfairly discriminated against by his or her employer.”
While an executive order does not replace a comprehensive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, it would extend nondiscrimination protections to more than 16 million workers.
Some states have enacted workplace protections, but it remains legal to fire employees for their sexual orientation in 29 states and for their gender identity in 34 states.
Shegerian warns that any form of discrimination or termination of employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the state of California can lead to harsh financial consequences.
An experienced trial attorney, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations. Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. He remains undefeated in federal jury trials and has won over 62 jury trials, including 24 seven figure verdicts representing employees.