June 24, 2009

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Hails House Introduction of Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Bill Would Ban Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Employees

NEW YORK – Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund applauds the introduction today in the United States House of Representatives of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from workplace discrimination.  The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal employment non-discrimination laws.

"Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace," TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman said.  "In these difficult economic times, it is imperative that Congress pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to ensure that transgender people, like all Americans, have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce."

Transgender people face tremendous obstacles to securing fair and steady employment. Pervasive discrimination limits their options. Many who are employed face on-the-job harassment because of their gender identity and expression.  Currently, 12 states and more than 100 localities have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, covering nearly 40 percent of Americans. Additionally, more than 150 Fortune 500 companies have enacted nondiscrimination policies protecting LGBT workers. But while these advancements have helped to protect workers in many places, many more remain unprotected.

"Transgender people deserve the same protection from employment discrimination under federal law that everyone else receives, and we thank Representative Frank and all of the bill's co-sponsors for their work in introducing this bill," Silverman added.