California citizens may be interested to learn that there is a civil protection act known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the hands of Congress members. According to the co-sponsor, ENDA seeks to protect the LGBT communities against sexual orientation discrimination.

The co-sponsor of ENDA referred to a UCLA study as an example as to why the rights of the LGBT community needs to be put in the spotlight. The results of the study showed that approximately half of openly gay and bisexual individuals and up to 80 percent of transgender individuals faced discrimination while at work due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. While California is one state that has taken steps to protect their citizens’ rights, 29 states have no such discrimination laws. In these states, employees can be fired if their employer disagrees with their lifestyle.

If ENDA is passed by Congress, Americans across the nation would be protected against discrimination for their sexual orientation by law. The act was introduced nearly 19 years ago and support has been growing over the years in both political parties and among the American public.

When someone is discriminated against at work due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, it can have a negative effect on their mental health and their job performance. In California, homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals are protected against wrongful termination, retaliation, workplace harassment and a hostile work environment.

An experienced California attorney may be able to help their clients overcome workplace discrimination by helping them gather evidence and file lawsuits against the employer. The attorney may be able to obtain compensation for their clients for any unpaid overtime, if they were paid less due to their sexual orientation, or for any pain and suffering.

Source: U-T San Diego, “LGBT workplace discrimination must end“, Scott Peters, June 20, 2013