Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement commending a Senate committee’s approval a bill last week prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bipartisan bill, called the Employer Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, has been gaining increasing support from both Republican and Democrat Senators.
“It’s always rewarding when public officials take action to enhance or improve regulations that are put in place to protect employees from discrimination on a national level,” said Shegerian. “We applaud the Senate committee that has backed this bill. Any move to reduce discrimination on 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.”
Under federal law, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age or disability. Between 15% to 43% of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender workers have experienced being fired, denied promotions or harassed, according to the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA School of Law that studies LGBT issues.
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.
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would schedule the measure for a floor debate following Congress’ August recess.
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