Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, February 26, 2007

Is This the Year Title VII Is Expanded to Cover Sexual Orientation?

I was caught off guard by the Associated Press article that was being widely reported this week end concerning two "likely" Congressional enactments concerning gay rights this year — one a hate crimes bill and the other adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories protected against workplace discrimination. See the article as reported at, Breakthrough year seen for gay rights bills. Favorable comments on the likelihood of passage come from both a supporter, Congressman Barney Frank, (D.MA.) and an opponent, Matt Barber, a policy director with the conservative group Concerned Women for America.

I wonder if the author may not be jumping the gun, as I don't find a current bill pending in either the House or Senate that would accomplish the workplace goals (I didn't check for the hate crime one) and the acronym used in the article, ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Law), was used for legislation introduced in prior sessions. Although it is not out of the realm of possibility that this legislation will be introduced and make progress, I think this article may be a little, and perhaps considerably, ahead of the bandwagon.

Much sooner on the horizon are bills banning genetic discrimination and the Employee Free Choice Act, the latter which may well pass the House this week.


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