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AFL-CIO Now

8 Things You Need to Know About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Photo courtesy mattymatt

Next week the Senate is expected to vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), federal legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, currently one of the few legal forms of workplace discrimination. The AFL-CIO historically has supported this legislation, and at the most recent quadrennial national convention, delegates passed a resolution reaffirming support for ENDA and rejecting any form of workplace discrimination.

Here are eight important facts you need to know about ENDA:

1. ENDA would protect workers nationwide by prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, currently one of the few legal forms of workplace discrimination.

2. Many LGBT workers face discrimination that impairs their ability to support their families because of personal characteristics that have no bearing on their job performance.

3. ENDA doesn't provide any special rights to the LGBT community or require employers to fill any LGBT quotas, it merely levels the playing field and gives LGBT workers the same protections heterosexual workers have.

4. ENDA also would protect heterosexual people from being fired because employers suspect they might be gay.

5. Currently, 52% of the LGBT population lives in states that allow discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity.

6. Voters overwhelmingly (73%) support ENDA.

7. Small businesses, religious organizations and the military are exempt from the requirements of ENDA.

8. Most Fortune 500 companies (88%) already prevent such discrimination.

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