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Old 11-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

I am just now taking steps to get involved with Equality Nevada and am particularly interested in learning more about (and securing) workplace protections for trans-identified individuals. This is a new process for me......a new way of being......and I'm both excited and nervous (nervous because this type of involvement is very new to me).

What have your experiences been with this piece of legislation? Your level of involvement?

Part of this journey may take me to the HR departments of businesses and corporations. I want to see what is in place......or what's *not* in place.......to share and learn..... Hell, I don't know. Like I said, it's new for me.

Thoughts? Stories? Links?

Please, note: Although *my* particular interest as I move forward is to see what is/isn't in place for trans-folks, I am focusing on all under the GLBTQI umbrella when talking about ENDA here.

In case you're interested in the basics on ENDA, this is from www.hrc.org ...

What is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?


The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. ENDA simply affords to all Americans basic employment protection from discrimination based on irrational prejudice. The bill is closely modeled on existing civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill explicitly prohibits preferential treatment and quotas and does not permit disparate impact suits. In addition, it exempts small businesses, religious organizations and the military, and does not require that domestic partner benefits be provided to the same-sex partners of employees.

What ENDA Does


* Extends federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity
* Prohibits public and private employers, employment agencies and labor unions from using an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion or compensation
* Provides for the same procedures, and similar, but somewhat more limited, remedies as are permitted under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act
* Applies to Congress and the federal government, as well as employees of state and local governments

What ENDA Does Not Do


* Cover businesses with fewer than 15 employees
* Apply to religious organizations
* Apply to the uniformed members of the armed forces (the bill doesn’t affect the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy)
* Allow for quotas or preferential treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity
* Allow a "disparate impact" claim similar to the one available under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, an employer is not required to justify a neutral practice that may have a statistically disparate impact on individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
* Allow the imposition of affirmative action for a violation of ENDA
* Allow the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect statistics on sexual orientation or gender identity or compel employers to collect such statistics.
* Apply retroactively
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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There was a Senate hearing this past Thursday.

http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/t...?blog_id=27967

No trans witnesses on the panel... That's the kind of thing of which I would not mind being a part. I'll take my first step this Tuesday evening.

Some of you know that I spent 21 years in education. When I decided to transition, I left my job and the east coast and moved. Part of the reason was to be with my lady. Another part was to try something different. And another part was to focus on transitioning with as few distractions as we could manage.

I am very blessed in that I have not had to resume a more traditional career. But if I am to be honest, I would have to say the thought of applying.......say, in a school system.........and putting ALL of my cards on the table would be a bit stressful.

I've always feared being judged (not sure what that is rooted in), and I think it would be pretty intimidating to say, "Hey, I'm a kick-ass educator and specialist with some outstanding professional references. You'll find all my records in this folder. You'll also find a certified court order for my name change, blah, blah, blah..."

Now, I have no problem actually doing that. I just don't have much faith that it would not be an issue.

That's sad to me. We all know that it *would* be an issue the majority of the time.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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It's interesting that as an adult educator transitioning on the job isn't an issue but I think those that do transition and are teachers for children face far more judgement of their "skill/ability" than adult educators. I think there is some kind of mythos where people believe the negative hype around trans individuals (e.g., mentally unstable, deviants, etc.)

They cannot see the separation of personal life from professional life in a school system. What is interesting about ENDA is that it does allow various institutions to be exempt (which will mean if your faith doesn't support LGBTQ individuals, you may not want to come out to them and, in fact, find work elsewhere if possible).

Good luck on Tuesday.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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It's interesting that as an adult educator transitioning on the job isn't an issue but I think those that do transition and are teachers for children face far more judgement of their "skill/ability" than adult educators. I think there is some kind of mythos where people believe the negative hype around trans individuals (e.g., mentally unstable, deviants, etc.)
Agreed.

It really is painfully frustrating to think about it. So much doesn't make sense about the thought processes, the reasoning (and lack of), and the reactions.

I believe that once we have those protections in place, we still have to look at an employer's responsibility in *not* disclosing certain information. So... I can see post-transition individuals being hired in K-12 education (and hopefully protected). However, I still think we are a long, long, long way away from K-12 educators being able to peacefully transition *on* the job.

Linus, does your employer have a non-discrimination policy in place that cites sexual orientation *and* gender identity?
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
Agreed.

It really is painfully frustrating to think about it. So much doesn't make sense about the thought processes, the reasoning (and lack of), and the reactions.

I believe that once we have those protections in place, we still have to look at an employer's responsibility in *not* disclosing certain information. So... I can see post-transition individuals being hired in K-12 education (and hopefully protected). However, I still think we are a long, long, long way away from K-12 educators being able to peacefully transition *on* the job.

Linus, does your employer have a non-discrimination policy in place that cites sexual orientation *and* gender identity?
Actually, yes. The company is very sensitive and, although HR is slow at times, they are very supportive.
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Old 11-08-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
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Actually, yes. The company is very sensitive and, although HR is slow at times, they are very supportive.
That is so awesome! Great to hear!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
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This is such a great little article following last Thursday's Senate hearing and includes a 10-minute video from the hearing that features Sen. Franken.

It's good stuff!!!

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/11/week...earing_acc.php
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
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Thinker, I live in Southern Nevada, and I am very fortunate that my employer does have a non-discrimination policy in regards to sexual orientation AND gender indentity

Jewel



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Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
Agreed.

It really is painfully frustrating to think about it. So much doesn't make sense about the thought processes, the reasoning (and lack of), and the reactions.

I believe that once we have those protections in place, we still have to look at an employer's responsibility in *not* disclosing certain information. So... I can see post-transition individuals being hired in K-12 education (and hopefully protected). However, I still think we are a long, long, long way away from K-12 educators being able to peacefully transition *on* the job.

Linus, does your employer have a non-discrimination policy in place that cites sexual orientation *and* gender identity?
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lady Jewel View Post
Thinker, I live in Southern Nevada, and I am very fortunate that my employer does have a non-discrimination policy in regards to sexual orientation AND gender indentity

Jewel
Outstanding!
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:11 AM   #10
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Update...

http://lezgetreal.com/?p=26789
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
There was a Senate hearing this past Thursday.

http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/t...?blog_id=27967

No trans witnesses on the panel... That's the kind of thing of which I would not mind being a part. I'll take my first step this Tuesday evening.

Some of you know that I spent 21 years in education. When I decided to transition, I left my job and the east coast and moved. Part of the reason was to be with my lady. Another part was to try something different. And another part was to focus on transitioning with as few distractions as we could manage.

I am very blessed in that I have not had to resume a more traditional career. But if I am to be honest, I would have to say the thought of applying.......say, in a school system.........and putting ALL of my cards on the table would be a bit stressful.

I've always feared being judged (not sure what that is rooted in), and I think it would be pretty intimidating to say, "Hey, I'm a kick-ass educator and specialist with some outstanding professional references. You'll find all my records in this folder. You'll also find a certified court order for my name change, blah, blah, blah..."

Now, I have no problem actually doing that. I just don't have much faith that it would not be an issue.

That's sad to me. We all know that it *would* be an issue the majority of the time.

I hate it that I have to agree here..... the would be continues even with reform. Thinkin' that it would be a very good thing for a Thinker to be on that panel!

Last edited by AtLast; 02-22-2010 at 01:56 PM. Reason: goofed
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:28 PM   #12
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From April 12; Rep. Barney Frank

http://www.lgbtpov.com/2010/04/rep-b...-like-the-nra/
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:11 AM   #13
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Wish you were still here Thinker. The Equality VA/ VCU rally is seeking trans- teachers to speak! Keep up the good work out there. We'll keep your struggle in our thoughts!
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:23 AM   #14
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Hi Thinker,

I've been doing advocacy and enforcement work in this area (employment discrimination) for a number of years. Recently I've focused on an investigative methodology called "testing." I'm very happy to go into further detail "off-line" about the specifics of this methodology, but the critical piece here is that this is type of investigation has proved very difficult due to a lack of transmen and/or FtMs willing to volunteer in the process. I am currently work for the Equal Rights Center (www.equalrightscenter.org) a national civil rights non-profit, and we are constantly looking for transmen/FtMs will to be testers. If you, or other friends would be willing to participate allow me to direct you to the link on our website and complete the online application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
There was a Senate hearing this past Thursday.

http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/t...?blog_id=27967

No trans witnesses on the panel... That's the kind of thing of which I would not mind being a part.
Also, I was unable to go to the link you posted regarding the ENDA Senate hearing. However, I know in other hearings in 2009 there were 2 or 3 trans who testified including Shannon Minter, Legal Director for National Center for Lesbian Rights. With that said more folks with compelling stories of how the lack of federal legal protection hurts their lives and their families are always welcome, just submit your written testimony to the committee for inclusion.

I am so happy to see this thread and prayerful more folks will tell their stories and let their voices be heard.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by PrudenceJuris View Post
Hi Thinker,

I've been doing advocacy and enforcement work in this area (employment discrimination) for a number of years. Recently I've focused on an investigative methodology called "testing." I'm very happy to go into further detail "off-line" about the specifics of this methodology, but the critical piece here is that this is type of investigation has proved very difficult due to a lack of transmen and/or FtMs willing to volunteer in the process. I am currently work for the Equal Rights Center (www.equalrightscenter.org) a national civil rights non-profit, and we are constantly looking for transmen/FtMs will to be testers. If you, or other friends would be willing to participate allow me to direct you to the link on our website and complete the online application.
Is it the section titled Civil Rights Testing Program?
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #16
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Yes, that's the section.
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:33 PM   #17
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Update...

Still so much work to do...

http://www.dcagenda.com/2010/04/15/1...itted-on-enda/
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #18
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Default Very Important Update... your action is needed now!

An outrageous article about ENDA was published in the Capitol Newspaper Rollcall. Please contact RC's office, ask to speak with Charlie. More than likely you will only be transferred to his voice mail. Even if you are, please leave a respectful message about how inaccurate the story was, why it was wrong to publish a very biased story from an org that is on a 'watch list', encourage Charlie to assure that Jillian's rebuttal will be published, and if there is time tell him why passing ENDA is important to you.

http://www.bilerico.com/2010/04/top_...us_lies_of.php
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:43 AM   #19
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Excuse me for rainng on the enda act,but I have my doubts about its ablaity to do a thing in real life for ppl with disablities or anything else cause last year I was hired by a local company and they knew about my disablity as well as my sexuality wich wasnt the issue beleave it or not.They hired me full knowing about my disablity and even voiced that I may not be able to handle the job,then hired me anyway..a week later I was fired.I know Louisiana is an at will state but I thought enda was suposed to protect the disabled in the work force.I told my vocational rehab counselor but he just blew it off like it was nothing.Note that this company made no adjustments to comply with anything to work around my disablities,wich wouldnt have taken much to do or time out of the work day.All this was done in front of the whole staff as well as about 50 ppl dureing orentation..I was isused uniforms and filled out papaer work then they droped the bomb on me in a very public way.I know there isnt any good way to fire someone but dreaging me threw the mill the way they did wasnt at all a good thing to go threw.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:19 PM   #20
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I do not know all of the specifics of ENDA and am wondering if it can (hope so) have an impact on at will employment? The idea that one's employment can be terminated for any cause and that this type of employment structure exists makes me nuts. I have always thought at will employment agreements were to ward off law suits, but that a court could take on cases of discrimination anyway.

I just don't have any background in this area and would like to know how ENDA can work against at will employment agreements.
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