Senate Passes ENDA

CongressOn November 7, the Senate passed the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would amend Title VII to add discrimination protections to homosexual and transgendered employees.   Ten Republicans voted for the legislation, but the primary argument against the bill is the lack of a strong exemption for faith based businesses.  The current piece of legislation would only exempt explicitly religious organizations, like churches, but would not provide an exemption to a private faith based school or hospitals. 

The bill has little chance of passing the House of Representatives, so it is not likely to become law.   ENDA was last voted on in the Senate in 1996, when it failed by one vote, so this is the first time it has passed one house of Congress.  It is important to keep in mind that many states and municipalities already have passed laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination.  For example, in Texas, Austin and Fort Worth have such laws.  For that reason, many large multi-state employers have already added sexual orientation to their harassment and discrimination policies, making a change in federal law duplicative.

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Posted in Discrimination, Federal Government, Labor & Employment

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About HR Headaches
HR Headaches is a blog for Human Resources professionals, business owners, and in-house counsel to get the latest news, analysis and tips in the area of labor and employment law. Every day there are new court decisions, agency interpretations, and regulations which affect the workplace, making it difficult, if not impossible, for many employers to keep current. HR Headaches is dedicated to providing information in a practical, no-nonsense manner to help employers avoid legal disputes and keep policies up to date.
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