Stakeholders get more time to comment on EEOC’s harassment guidance

February 06, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Stakeholders now have until March 21 to comment on proposed antiharassment guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The move is in line with the new administration’s overall approach of pausing Obama administration initiatives and taking time to evaluate them, said Jonathan Mook, a founding partner of DiMuro Ginsberg PC and an editor of Virginia Employment Law Letter. Given the change in administration, it makes sense to provide stakeholders more time, he said.

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Houston fails to adopt HERO

November 04, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Jacob Monty
Monty & Ramirez, LLP

On November 3, Houston voters decided the fate of a controversial equal rights law by voting against the adoption of Proposition 1, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).

The ordinance attempted to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in city employment, services, and contracts; public accommodations; and private employment and housing. In addition, HERO would have banned discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy.

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Next phase of Houston’s equal rights law set

June 24, 2015 0 COMMENTS

As of June 27, more employers will be covered by the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). The ordinance adds to the protected classes covered under federal and state civil rights laws.

HERO took effect on June 27, 2014, covering employers with 50 or more employees. On June 27, 2015, the law will cover employers with 25 or more employees. On the next anniversary of the law, it will cover employers with 15 or more employees.

HERO protects employees from discrimination based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and pregnancy. Sexual orientation protection extends to both real and perceived sexual orientation.

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New OFCCP rule on sexual orientation, gender identity takes effect April 8

March 30, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Emily L. Bristol

A new rule that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited bases of discrimination under Executive Order 11246 goes into effect on April 8.

The rule, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), will apply to federal contractors that hold covered contracts entered into or modified on or after April 8.

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Maryland transgender rights law takes effect October 1

September 09, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Kevin C. McCormick

Maryland’s new law prohibiting discrimination against transgender individuals in areas of employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations goes into effect October 1.

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act passed the legislature in March and was signed by Governor Martin O’Malley in May. It adds “gender identity” to Maryland’s existing laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. The law is designed to protect any person who has or is perceived by others to have a gender identity or expression that might be considered different or inconsistent with his assigned sex at birth, regardless of whether he self-identifies as transgender.

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Obama order bars contractors from LGBT employment discrimination

July 21, 2014 0 COMMENTS

On July 21, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Federal Employment Law Insider editor David S. Fortney, Elizabeth B. Bradley, and Emily Bristol, attorneys with Fortney & Scott, LLC in Washington, D.C., issued a statement after Obama signed the order. They explained that the order marks the first time a national standard has been established. They called it “a historical moment for the expansion of civil rights laws to include the LGBT status as a protected category.”

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TN Governor Signs Bill on State and Local Antidiscrimination Standards

May 24, 2011 0 COMMENTS

Late Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law House Bill (HB) 600, which prohibits Tennessee’s local governments from imposing on employers any antidiscrimination practices or standards that vary from those in state law.

Named the Equal Access to Interstate Commerce Act, the new law makes null and void any “practice, standard, definition, or provision” previously established by local ordinance or resolution. The practical effect is the nullification of a Nashville ordinance enacted in April that requires the city’s contractors and vendors to submit affidavits affirming that they don’t discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Memorandum Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Executive Branch Employees

June 03, 2010 0 COMMENTS

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed a federal memorandum requiring executive agencies to extend to same-sex partners the employment benefits equivalent to those granted to opposite-sex partners. The memorandum expands benefits previously provided to same-sex partners in an executive memorandum signed last October and is the latest in a handful of government moves to preserve rights and benefits for gay individuals. This most recent action, as well as the ongoing review of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, suggests a favorable atmosphere for the consideration and possible passage of the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

ENDA would provide job protections for gay and transgendered workers by prohibiting discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Though the bill has seen no official action in Congress since committee hearings late last year, U.S. House of Representatives proponents of the bill have been counting votes to determine whether to bring the bill to the floor, perhaps as soon as this month.

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