Friday, July 24, 2015

EEOC Victory



Hopefully you've already heard that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a groundbreaking ruling protecting gays and lesbians from employment discrimination. With this ruling in place, LGBT workers in all 50 states who experience employment discrimination can now file an EEOC complaint. “Allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex,” the commission concluded in a decision dated July 15.

While a few Congressmen have tried to introduce non-discrimination legislation that included the LGBT workers, it has always failed to make much headway. For years, Democratic Senator Al Franken has been trying to pass a bill to protect LGBT students in public schools from discrimination. And for years the bill, known as the Student Nondiscrimination Act, or SENDA, failed to even get voted out of committee. Recently, Franken's legislation was added as amendment #2093 to S1177, aka the "Every Child Achieves Act of 2015,” and last week it came up for a vote on the Senate floor.   Senator Lamar Alexander led the charge to vote “no” claiming that it would cause lawsuits.  As someone who was tormented as a child with “faggot” and “queer” while,in school, there needs to be some lawsuits to force teachers and administrators who often do nothing, to stand up for kids in their schools.  This and other bills that have attempted to end discrimination against LGBT individuals in the public sector have increasingly been voted down by Congress.

Because of the issues facing such legislation, it is a huge step when the EEOC rules that all types of discrimination based on sexual orientation are forms of sex discrimination banned by the Civil Rights Act. Previously, the EEOC limited sexual orientation discrimination claims to cases where workers alleged they were victims of sex stereotypes.  The 3-2 EEOC ruling came in a case brought by a federal air traffic control specialist in Miami, who contended he was denied a promotion because he was gay.

So that settles the issue, right? Sadly, that's not necessarily true. Courts give weight to EEOC rulings, because they are the experts in the field, but it’s up to each court to decide whether to apply this ruling to claims by private-sector employees.  SCOTUS does tend to rely on EEOC rulings, but that's no guarantee.

In many states, it’s legal for employers to discriminate against workers — or not hire people in the first place — because of sexual orientation. That’s why gay activists have been pushing for federal legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that would make workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity against the law.

The EEOC ruling “is an enormous leap forward and will provide another important tool in the fight against employment discrimination and unemployment experienced by LGBTQ people,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task force.  “We need to further attack the scourge of discrimination in a comprehensive manner — and while LGBTQ people may file employment discrimination cases with the EEOC, we still need more. We must push for legislation that provides clear and strong protections for all LGBTQ people in every area of life — from housing to health care.”

“The fight for basic civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people just took a big step forward,” said American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project director, James Esseks.  “Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people all across the country now have a place to turn if an employer fires them because of their sexual orientation. This is a significant development because protections for gay and transgender people are almost nonexistent in federal law, and 28 states also lack state-level protections.” 

8 comments:

Michael Dodd said...

Sad to think in this day and age ... well, sad to think so many things in this day and age, huh? Progress, not perfection.

Hot guys pictures said...

Hey there, great blog you've got, buddy! :)
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Jay M. said...

We shall see what happens. I predict a lot of litigation - anyone else see a new SCOTUS case?!?!?!?!

Peace <3
Jay

JiEL said...

OMG!

How come you need that EEOC..???

In Canada those RIGHTS are incorporate in our Chart of Rights and Liberty..

Nobody can forbide you to have a job or an appartment etc if you're gay or black or from any other religion than his...

So ridicilous of USA to still going on in 2015 with such discriminations...

You have so many issues to overcome....

WOOOOFFF !

Joe said...

JiEL, please remember that your Charter of Rights and Freedoms was created in 1982, and is similar to our Bill of Rights which was ratified in 1789. The United States has its problems but it was created nearly 200 years prior to Canada. Canada had the luxury of creating its laws in an era more enlightened by modernity than that of the United States. Furthermore, your Parliament has to only contend with 10 provinces and three territories and a mere 36 million people. The United States has to contend with 50 states and 16 territories and a population of nearly ten times the size of Canada's. Yes, we have a ways to go to be as liberal and enlightened as Canada but we have far more people to deal with and a nearly 230 year old system with which to accomplish it. It will take time, and we will win those freedoms in the courts and possibly one day through Congress, but U.S. politics is far more complicated than that of Canada.

JiEL said...

Thanks for the precision on USA issues during all your centuries of history..

Must say that even if Canada is less populate and our history is quite not as old as yours, we also had to fight against biggotery and our Church establishment that was ruling our civil population at the beginning...

Not as numerous as yours, for sure, but still a lot rural till the 1960s.

Yes, we are more liberal than even your «democrates» ... Your Democrate party is like our Conservative party in Canada...
Harper is from Alberta and he is coming from the extreme right, religious, Reform Party. Still lobbied by those religious fanatics..
But there is a good opposition even in his own party..

For to know which of your on my country's «age», Québec city was founded in 1608, Montreal in 1642 and the French people were here with the discovery of our land in 1534... Not mentionning the visits of Vikings and Portugese sailor way before Jacques Cartier in 1534, those visiting Newfoundland and Labrador..

Yes your Constitution is older and your more populated than us, but the foundamental principals of your Constitution is based to much on RELIGION and therefore is very difficult to change.
Because you didn't separate politics and religion your struggling to «evolute» to the 21st century and all of what it imply..

Not sure if I made it clear but you're a well advance society in many fields but your principal way of living are retrograd and based on some misinterpretations of the Holy Bible (If that or those Bibles are really accurate)_..

As long as «In God We Trust» is your moto, USA will be divided by those so many biggots that believe blindfully to those Priests who claim telling that those words of God are the only truth..

Yes, we are a only 150 years old country but I can say that we are REALLY a FREE one in all means...

Sorry to offense you but it's not my intention..

Bonne nuit de Montréal, Canada

Joe said...

JiEL, you didn't offend me at all. I just wanted to make the point that we have an old Constitution that was created in an era long before Canada's Constitution. It was an era when the common man was not trusted with governance, which is why we are a republic not a democracy. Our laws were made difficult to change because that was the political climate of the day. Our Founding Fathers did not want too strong of a central government and definitely didn't want a King, so they made it where progress would be slow. Early Americans have always been conservative but we do have French influences in Mobile, Biloxi, and New Orleans, all founded by the French. But America was founded by religious fugitives and businessmen, thus not liberal at all. Change comes slowly to conservatives which is why they are called conservatives. And with such a larger population, our politicians play to their constituents. I wish they did what was right but they do what gets them elected and politicians around the world, even in Canada is the same.

By the way, "In God We Trust" is not out original motto and was only adopted to help in the propaganda of the Cold War. Originally, it was "E Pluribus, Unum" OUT OF MANY, ONE

I know I have droned on a lot, but my point is simply that we have a hard uphill battle to fight to get change. If our country was a newer country then maybe we would have a more enlightened Constitution.

JiEL said...

Thank you for your nice answer and as I saw the movie of «John Adams» life, I can more understand the way of thinking of so many in United States.

As you said also, you're a Republic and not a Confederation which is a bit different for sure. I see it also in France which is also a Republic.

I hope that one day you, people of USA, could have the sames rights we have here in Canada...

Must say that I have two gay couple, friends of mine, that live in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and I had many argumentation about the gay marriage situation in USA..

BTW, Rehoboth Beach is such a gay friendly place to go to and to live in.
If I win a big jackpot I wouldn't hesitate to buy a nice house there.... LOL!!!

Take care and continue to «educate» me (us)

Friendly yours from FREE Canada..