The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual workers have been in the spotlight lately, with the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in the military and the Harvard University study that showed that there was a bias against gay resumes, as reported by FindLaw's Houston Employment Blog.
As a way to reduce discrimination against LGBT people, 126 corporations have banded together and organized a summit in Texas, to be held from October 25-28. The aim will be to advance workplace equality. Up to 2,500 attendees are expected. Some of the major corporations attending will include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Northrop Grumman.
The effort to reduce discrimination against LGBT people comes at an important time. As many LGBT people are aware, currently there is no federal law that explicitly bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The closest law to date proposed on the subject was in 2009. It was called ENDA: Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009. Although a version of it has been proposed since 1994, it hasn't yet become law.
Without federal legal protection, LGBT people are reliant on the labor laws passed by their individual states. However, in 29 states, it is still legal to fire someone solely because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual, reports Human Rights Campaign. Texas is one of those states where there is no law to protect gays and lesbians from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
And that is why the LGBT equality summit comes to Texas at a good time. It is time to end workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
- Find a Houston Employment Law attorney (FindLaw)
- Your Rights Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace (FindLaw)
- General Information on Unemployment Discrimination (FindLaw)
- Out & Equal Workplace Summit (Out & Equal)