There is a sure-fire way to avoid the uncertainty of when and how the Supreme Court may — legal jargon in 3…2…1… — adjudicate LGBT rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
And that’s to pass a law making LGBT discrimination at work unlawful.
Speaking of which…
This week, both the House and Senate reintroduced the Equality Act. Among other things, the Equality Act would amend Title VII to explicitly outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. If passed, the Equality Act would offer those same protections in education, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of federal funds.
Just as he did in 2015 and 2017, Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the legislation in the Senate. There 47 co-sponsors, one of whom is a Republican, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). Rhode Island Democrat David N. Cicilline introduced the Equality Act in the House with a record 239 co-sponsors. In 2017, the House bill had 198 co-sponsors and never made it out of committee.
CNBC reports that the bill has “161 corporate sponsors with $3.7 trillion in revenue, with operations across all 50 states, including Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Facebook, Twitter.”
So, what’s holding up the Equality Act?
Well, the ACLU underscores that “the Equality Act also clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … can’t undercut civil rights protections for anyone.” And AP reports that this could present a problem.
Still, the Washington Blade reports that “expected timeline for the Equality Act in the House [will involve] hearings in April and May, followed by a vote on the House floor in the May through July period to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots…”
I’ll keep you updated if the legislation makes to a vote in either the House or Senate.
Until then, remember:
- Sex stereotyping is unlawful under federal law.
- Many states and localities already ban LGBT discrimination.
- You too can forbid LGBT discrimination in your policies and procedures at work.
This article originally appeared on The Employer Handbook blog.