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AFL-CIO Now

Did You Know, You Can Be Fired For Being Gay?

Photo Courtesy of the Pride at Work Facebook Page

In 2013, it's difficult to believe that in most of the country, it's legal to fire workers for their sexual orientation or gender identity.  It doesn't matter how good you are at your job, if your employer doesn't approve of who you are, he or she can fire you and you have no legal recourse.  The country has long had laws that protect workers from being fired based on their race, gender, religion, disability or other characteristics of their identity.  But sexual and gender identity aren’t usually among those protections.

The AFL-CIO supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) currently before Congress.  William Samuel, the director of the labor federation's Department of Legislation, sent the following letter to senators July 9:

I am writing on behalf of the AFL-CIO to urge you to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (S. 815). The AFL-CIO believes it is wrong for any employer to discriminate against or fire a worker based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination in the workplace has no place in the United States.

Today, throughout our country, millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans are without the protections of federal employment discrimination law. People who express their gender in ways that do not conform to traditional norms are regularly subject to severe discrimination and harassment and are particularly in need of anti-discrimination protection. This legislation would establish standard protections against employment discrimination for all workers regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Until the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 becomes law, many workers receive these protections only because of their union contracts. We urge you to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (S. 815) so
that all workers can be afforded equal employment opportunities.

Generational Alliance is asking others who support this law to tweet their senators and ask them to support the bill.

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